Kvitova wins Aegon Classic final for 1st title since attack

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova reached her first final since returning from a career-threatening hand injury after Lucie Safarova retired from their match in Birmingham.

"I could not have imagined a comeback better than the one I am having now", she said.

"I was just thinking about my game and I'm sorry for her that she's unhealthy, but I hope she will be better soon", Kvitova said. Suddenly unable to put the first serve in, the 21-year-old hit two backhand errors from 30-15 up and gave Kvitova her first break point of the set, with the chance to level-off the score.

However, the Australian was not to be denied as she closed out a battling victory in one hour and 50 minutes when Muguruza again failed to hold her serve.

Kvitova, 27, returned to action at the French Open in late May.

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Twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova, playing in just her second tournament of the year, was 6-1 1-0 up at the Edgbaston Priory Club when her Czech compatriot pulled out.

"It was such an fantastic fight between the both of us and I am so happy that I won", Safarova said.

Kvitova will have a very different sort of match against Barty, who began to find a pattern which discomforted Muguruza mid-way through the second set.

Kvitova is set to take on Australian Ashleigh Barty in the finals of the Aegon Classic, who herself has a very interesting story leading up to this match.

From the start Kvitova's serving was nearly always rock solid, finding the lines and the angles but with Safarova struggling to push off a heavily strapped leg there would have always been one victor.

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World No.77 Barty, meanwhile, qualified for the biggest final of her career by coming from behind to beat former Wimbledon finalist Muguruza 3-6 6-4 6-4. She worked her way to becoming a professional cricketer and did really well as she went on to play or the Brisbane Heat in the Women's Big Bash League. "I mean not just from my perspective, but I think from everyone, I think it's incredible to have her back on the tour, and to be successful straightaway is just phenomenal".

This is only her second tournament since a seven-month hole was torn from her career, and it was only her sixth match - yet she reached her first grass court final since her great Wimbledon triumph of 2014. "I like getting purchase with my slice on the grass, and I didn't do much wrong".

But she too double-faulted, repairing some of the damage with a brilliant passing shot which saved match point on Kvitova's serve at 6-4.

"It has been a hard time and I wasn't sure if I would play again".

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

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