2016 Aegon Classic

Keen Kvitova races past Safarova

Petra ‎Kvitova sailed past lethargic Lucie Safarova with a stunning 6-3 6-2 success at Birmingham’s Aegon Classic.

The two-time Wimbledon winner found the rhythm from the start of their opening round clash, clinching victory in a little over an hour.

The Eastbourne-bound Czech, who has recently slipped out of the world’s top 10 because of indifferent form this term, produced some explosive shots to kill off her compatriot with aplomb.

The pair know each other well, Kvitova defeating Safarova in their 2014 Wimbledon showdown. But both arrived at Edgbaston’s Priory Club having suffered shock 3rd Round exits at Roland Garros.

And Kvitova, returning to Birmingham for the first time since 2008, made easy work of grabbing the opening set against the 29-year-old.

‎The second set was tighter, Kvitova’s movement around the Ann Jones Centre Court showing an array of dangerous weapons that she has portrayed over the years at SW19.

Her triumph was the first at Birmingham, having lost in her only other appearance against India’s Sunitha Rao.

With Kvitova, a former world #2 who usually used the Aegon International at Devonshire Park as her only warm-up tournament for The Championships, this was a rare glimpse of the Czech ace.

Her range of shots coupled with precision and power proved too much for her Fed Cup team-mate, and on this showing should be in the mix to win at both Eastbourne and Wimbledon.

Kvitova, who this season has only won back-to-back matches in four WTA Tour events, said: “Today’s schedule was perfect for me, because we finished before the rain. But I’m just happy I won.”

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