Kvi­tova gets in the groove to beat Gar­cia

Czech woman, back af­ter hor­rific knife at­tack, con­tin­ues re­turn to form

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS - KEVIN MITCHELL at Flush­ing Mead­ows

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.

De­tails in SPORTS ROUND-UP

Kvi­tova: sort of work­out she needed for the tougher as­sign­ments ahead

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