US Open: Petra Kvitova strolls to the second week

Petra Kvitova continued to steer through the draw at the US Open as she clinched her third consecutive straight-sets victory in Flushing Meadows with a comfortable win over Caroline Garcia.

US Open: Petra Kvitova strolls to the second week
Petra Kvitova celebrates her win | Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
Petra Kvitova
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Caroline Garcia

Petra Kvitova got past a stern test in Caroline Garcia as the Czech strolled to a comfortable straight sets victory over the giant-killing Frenchwoman after just an hour and 13 minutes of play. It was a straightforward win for the 13th seed, looking to be playing some of her best tennis against the nervous Garcia, who was hindered by the pressure of playing in the main stadium of the US Open for the first time in her career.

Kvitova whitewashes Garcia and serves a bagel

Kvitova came into the match knowing that she has to be playing some of her best tennis against someone whom she has lost to for two consecutive meetings. Determined to take revenge for her Fed Cup loss in the final last year, the Czech was on the quick-foot as she took advantage of some errors by Garcia, breaking serve in the opening game which saw the Frenchwoman serve three aces. Her straightforward 6-1 6-2 win over Alize Cornet in the second round should already have hinted at her current form, which was reflected well on the scoreboard as Kvitova easily consolidated the break for a 2-0 lead.

Petra Kvitova hits a forehand | Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America
Petra Kvitova hits a forehand | Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Garcia was simply unable to find her range while the 13th seed remained solid, with a double break advantage for Kvitova soon coming our way. Frustration overwhelmed the 18th seed as a backhand sent wide allowed her higher-ranked opponent to earn the golden opportunity to serve for the bagel. What seemed to be impossible at the start of the week happened as Kvitova closed out the first set 6-0 with two consecutive aces, looking in great form.

Garcia shows some resistance but Kvitova eventually takes the win

Garcia finally seemed to have found her groove as she eked out a narrow confidence-boosting service hold in the opening game of the second set, sealing it with an ace. Heaving a sigh of relief, the Frenchwoman knew that she still had a mountain to climb if she were to have any chances of winning especially when Kvitova was just destructive on her serve.

Though, Garcia started to find the rhythm on her serve and proceeded to earn her first comfortable hold of serve, keeping the scores tight. Slipping up was never in Kvitova’s mind as she leveled the scores with a powerful backhand winner, looking to close out the match in straight sets. The second set was much more competitive as compared to the first, with neither of them able to find a breakthrough on the return. Furthermore, Kvitova even managed to produce an ace off her second serve on game point in the sixth game.

Caroline Garcia covers herself with a white towel during a changeover | Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
Caroline Garcia covers herself with a white towel during a change over | Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
 

The first break points of the set finally arrived upon us as Kvitova powered herself to a 0-40 lead in the next game, but she was unable to convert any of her break points after Garcia played some incredible aggressive tennis to return to deuce, saving one of them with an ace in the process. The pressure of playing your first match in the biggest stadium in the world, the famous Arthur Ashe Stadium, continued to plague Garcia as she threw in two consecutive forehand unforced errors to gift Kvitova the first break of the set, allowing her to edge closer than ever to the win.

Powerful serves and amazing net play from the Czech helped her to consolidate the break, placing her just a game away from the win. Kvitova’s backhands were absolutely peaking but the tough resistance from Garcia just narrowly earned her one more game, saving two match points along the way. However, it was all too late for any comeback as the Czech eventually clinched the win with a powerful ace, just like how she won the first set.

The players met for a warm hug after the match | Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography
The players met for a warm hug after the match | Photo: Jimmie48 Tennis Photography