Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova’s strong start to 2023 has continued, with the popular Czech progressing to the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International today.
Kvitova saved three set points to eventually claim the opener 7-6 (6) against China’s Qinwen Zheng.
As a qualifier at the WTA 500 tournament, Zheng was playing her sixth match in eight days and some physical struggles showed towards the end of the tiebreak, with the world No.30 withdrawing at its conclusion.
For Kvitova, progress continues an excellent two-week period, in which she has recorded four wins from her four matches so far. Also incorporating her participation in the augural United Cup in Sydney, it marks the Czech’s most successful start to a season since she won the Brisbane International in 2011.
“Of course, this gives me some good confidence,” the 32-year-old Kvitova said this week. “I’m happy that my wrist is much better than this time last year. That’s great news. I hope I’m going to stay healthy, but so far it’s okay.”
“Still a few things to improve, of course, as always, but otherwise I’m happy.”
The Australian Open 2020 finalist will now take on world No.8 Daria Kasatkina, who defeated Barbora Krejcikova 6-2 7-5 this afternoon. Kvitova and Kasatkina have met just once, on clay in Madrid in 2o18, when the Czech emerged with a straight-sets win.
Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic progressed in Adelaide with a straight-sets win over Anna Kalinskaya.
Bencic is now 3-1 for the year, having split her matches at the United Cup before defeating former world No.1 Garbine Muguruza in the Adelaide Interational 2’s opening round earlier this week.
The World No.13 has dropped only two sets (both to Iga Swiatek) in her last eight matches as she builds a terrific base of form.
Leading Switzerland to victory in the Billie Jean King Cup in November 2022 has given Bencic the belief she can translate those big match wins into deep Slam runs again.
“I’m absolutely ready.” Bencic, an Olympic gold medallist, said.
“I’m really strong in the most important matches and in tight moments, so I definitely feel very confident about that. It’s just really something about when you have a lot of matches you also feel better, and you have to believe in yourself in the tight moments. The more you win in those moments, the more it helps.”
Bencic broke serve five times on the way to a 6-3 6-3 victory in her second-round clash to set a quarterfinal clash with world No.4 Caroline Garica, or the 48th-ranked Katerina Siniakova.
It marks the fifth straight year in which the 25-year-old has made at least a quarterfinal during the Australian summer,
In other results, Australian Open 2022 finalist Danielle Collins continued to build into her year, with a convincing 6-3 7-6 (2) win over Jill Teichmann achieved in one hour and 42 minutes.
The 29-year-old American is now a winner in eight of her last 10 matches played in Australia. no matches played in Australia.
Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad-Maia also moved into the quarterfinals, downing America’s Amanda Anisimova 6-4 7-5 in just under two hours.
The 26-year-old Brazilian improved her ranking from world No.88 to No.15 during 2022, claiming two WTA titles along the way.
She will take on World No.11 Paula Badosa in the quarterfinals after the Spaniard overcame veteran Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-1 7-5.
Badosa is now three from three to start the year, hitting a similar run of form that saw her win the Sydney International at this time last January.
Veronika Kudermetova’s progress to the final eight continued when Ekaterina Alexandrova withdrew ahead of their second-round clash.
Caroline Garcia also progressed to the quarterfinals, the No.4 seed claiming a 6-3 3-6 7-5 victory over Katerina Siniakova.