Kvitova sends Wimbledon warning with Birmingham title

Federer races past Zverev to claim ninth Halle title

The tournament's other Grand Slam victor, former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, plays unseeded Australian Ashleigh Barty in the second semifinal.

Former Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, produced another masterclass performance on her beloved grass, winning her 20th WTA title in Birmingham after a 4-6 6-3 6-2 triumph over Ashleigh Barty in an hour and 47 minutes.

The Czech only returned at the French Open after sustaining serious injuries to her left hand last December when an intruder broke into her apartment and attacked her with a knife.

The tournament's other Grand Slam victor, Muguruza, reached the semifinals for only her third time this year and the first on grass since reaching the final of Wimbledon almost two years ago.

Seventh seed Kvitova will play Australia's Ashleigh Barty in today's final.

Mladenovic's serve at 5-6 looked good enough to win the point and draw her level again, with Kvitova's return appearing about to slide wide.

Friday's other victor was former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza who got through after unseeded American CoCo Vandeweghe fell and hurt her ankle.

Her punchy and tenacious approach was effective again, as she lost one point in her first four service games and took the first set with some comfort.

"She is very highly ranked (12) and for me it is only the second tournament in my comeback".




"Yeah, I think it was important for us to take it step by step, and we've been getting better results the more we've played and the more we've gone on this year". In the second set though Barty's range of shots and her ability to slice and dice undid the Spaniard quite effectively.

"Obviously it's a big challenge for me tomorrow".

"I didn't feel nervous, but maybe my body was a bit exhausted". "I like big matches, and I've missed it over the last six months".

A deep victor down the line from Barty saved it, and an ace gave her a first set point.

After falling in the first set, Kvitova raced out to a dominating 5-1 lead in the second set before closing it out 6-3 to force the deciding set. "I am happy that I am able to show good tennis here".

"I don't think you can find any tennis player at all who isn't happy to see (Petra) back and genuinely pleased she's back on tour and being successful", Barty said. This time, she put herself out of trouble with an ace and a good first serve and gained a chance to hold with a backhand victor.

By now Kvitova was striking her ground strokes harder, scoring brilliantly with her inside-out forehand, and she closed out the second set with two aces in three points. "She's just super talented".

Vandeweghe injured a foot in her opening match which, she said, contributed to her tumble in the second set.

There are not very many natural grass court players out there.

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