Kvitova cruises past Mladenovic

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova reached the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kristina Mladenovic of France.

The Czech has been in good form this week in Cincinnati, yesterday’s win following her defeat of Serena Williams on Tuesday.

After Kvitova claimed the first set, the second began dramatically with an opening game that went to seven deuces and featured six break points before Kvitova broke serve. The former World No.2 then raced to a 5-0 lead and served with a match point.

Mladenovic wasn’t finished though, breaking back and holding to force Kvitova to try serving it out a second time.

With three more match points at 40-0, the Czech needed just two to secure victory. Kvitova hit 20 winners to 23 unforced errors, while Mladenovic matched the number of errors but only hit 11 winners.

“It was kind of different fight today” Kvitova said after the match. “I just need myself to get there and really fight, and I was telling myself to fight. And sometimes it just came naturally, but sometimes you really have to push yourself to kind of fight.”

Kvitova’s next opponent is No.15 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium, who beat US Open champion and No. 3 seed Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

Earlier, World No. 1 Simona Halep had to endure multiple rain delays before finally winning the last two games of the deciding set to claim a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ajla Tomljanovic.