Petra Kvitova’s dreams of adding the Aegon Classic to her two Wimbledon crowns vanished at the hands of Jelena Ostapenko.
The Czech Republic ace, who rarely makes an appearance at Birmingham’s Priory Club, was bounced out of the grass court tournament by the little-known Latvian.
Eastbourne-bound Kvitova, who usually only opts for the Aegon International at Devonshire Park as her Wimbledon warm-up plans, was upset during an epic three-set battle 6-4 4-6 6-3.
Ostapenko, the 2012 Junior Wimbledon champion, also defeated Kvitova in Doha earlier this year
The late start and the 40-minute interruption in the middle because of showers, which have broken up this tournament throughout, favoured neither player.
Ostapenko deservedly edged the opening set but was more relaxed once she had taken the lead.
Kvitova’s footwork improved in the second set and although she was troubled by the quality of shots from the tenacious teenager she broke serve to snatch the set and level matters.
After the thrilling first two sets were split, Kvitova surged into a 2-0 lead but was soon pegged back.
At 3-3 and the winner in the balance it was Ostapenko who majestically broke Kvitova to love to swept into the lead for the first time in the deciding set.
The 19-year-old Latvian had to be best on her serve, saving two break points – the first with a fearless forehand drive down the line, the second with a deep backhand that forced an error by Kvitova.
The Czech buckled under the pressure of serving to stay in the match, and gifted Ostapenko victory by pushing a tame forehand effort into the net to taste her 13th career loss on grass.
Kvitova said: “It was difficult to put the pressure on her. When she dropped serve she became more dangerous, and I wasn’t moving very well today.
“The problem is the grass. At the beginning of the grass court season it is really difficult for the body – I don’t know that I did anything wrong.”
“At least I played two matches here, and I hope to get more at Eastbourne next week.”