NEW YORK – Eight months ago, Petra Kvitova wasn’t sure she’d be able to hold a racket again. Now, she’s into the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
No. 13-seed Kvitova upset No. 3-seed Garbine Muguruza on Sunday night, winning 7-6(3), 6-3 to advance to the U.S. Open final eight for the second time in her career.
In December, two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova had her hand slashed when an intruder held her at knifepoint in her apartment in the Czech Republic. She underwent surgery for three hours and 45 minutes to repair her injury hand, and only returned to practice ahead in May, ahead of the French Open. After playing at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Kvitova is only playing in her eighth tournament of the year at the U.S Open.
On Sunday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Muguruza came out firing and built a 4-1 lead over Kvitova. But the Czech battled her way back, saving a break point for 1-5 with a backhand on the baseline and fighting to take the first set 7-6(3) in 64 minutes.
In the second set, 2017 Wimbledon champ Muguruza seemed as though she could not recover from the tough tiebreak. Kvitova continued to dominate and closed out the win in one hour and 45 minutes. Kvitova was 4 for 7 on break points and finished with 24 winners, 42 unforced errors, while Muguruza was 3 for 12 on break points and finished with 7 winners, 25 unforced errors.
Kvitova has yet to drop a set at the U.S. Open, defeating Jelena Jankovic, Alize Cornet, No. 18-seed Caroline Garcia and Muguruza en route to her quarterfinal U.S. Open appearance, her first since 2015.
Kvitova, currently ranked No. 14, would need to reach the U.S. Open semifinals to have a chance of returning to the Top 10.