Kvitova gets in the groove to beat Garcia
Czech woman, back after horrific knife attack, continues return to form
Petra Kvitova has the fire in her eyes again. On a warm morning on the Arthur Ashe court, she was back in her element, on the big stage her talent deserves, and, in two sets that lasted just an hour and a quarter, she showed no mercy to Caroline Garcia in what was one of the most clinical and impressive wins of the week.
Garcia, 19th in the world and once, famously, Andy Murray’s tip for the top, saved two match points in the ninth game of the second set, but could do little about Kvitova’s sixth and final ace, which wrapped it up 6-0, 6-4.
What a summer the 27-year-old Czech left-hander has had, on and off the court. Returning after the horrific knife attack in her own home before Christmas, she has somehow rediscovered much of the power and zip in her huge ground strokes, and is serving with pleasing consistency.
Whirlwind first set
Throughout the short match she maintained a steady gaze on her opponent, allowing her few opportunities to work her way into the match in a whirlwind first set, which lasted 25 minutes, and grinding it out in the second, which went 48 minutes.
It was the sort of workout she needed for the tougher assignments ahead after a 59-minute blowout of Garcia’s compatriot, Alize Cornet, although the former world No1 Jelena Jankovic had given her an hour and a half of her best in the first round.
Kvitova said courtside she was most pleased with “my serve and my movement around the court”, adding: “Caroline is very tricky, I know how she can play. I was trying to stay low and run.”
Kvitova shares with the absent Serena Williams – who was going into labour almost as the Czech was coming off court – of winning at least one title every year on the tour since 2011.
Elsewhere in the early day matches, Pablo Carreno Busta, the Spanish 12th seed, made unusually short work of the French marathon man, Nicolas Mahut, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in and hour and 49 minutes on the Louis Armstrong court.
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Kvitova: sort of workout she needed for the tougher assignments ahead