Sydney Tennis Classic: Badosa, Kontaveit win, Kvitova avoids upset

Petra Kvitova had survived two match points in the final set to overcome Arantxa Rus, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.

Petra Kvitova in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/ Roland Garros)

Paula Badosa and Anett Kontaveit led the charge into the second round of the Sydney Tennis Classic on Monday, scoring their first wins of the 2022 season. After a first-round exit last week in Adelaide at the hands of former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, No.5 seed Badosa survived a difficult first set before easing past former major-winner in Jelena Ostapenko 7-6, 6-1. “A match against Jelena is always tough. She’s a very, very tough player and you never know how good she can be that day, so I’m really happy with my first win of the year,” Badosa said after the match.

“I knew it was a tough match but it’s good to start with tough matches at the beginning of the year. You have to get the rhythm fast, so I’m very happy about this win today. Mentally, it was tough at the beginning. When you lose first round like last week, it’s never easy even though it was Vika and she played an amazing level … I was quite nervous today and for me, it was important. I think mentally, I stuck there until the last moment and I think the first set was key.”

Winning the first set despite falling behind late on proved pivotal in Badosa’s quest for victory. “I think it’s one of the things that gave me a lot of matches last year, to keep fighting no matter what,” Badosa said. “Against an opponent like Jelena, she can win 12 points in a row [against you] in two minutes. You have to accept that moment and that’s what I did … and I started to play much, much better.”

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Kontaveit, Kvitova win

It is interesting to note that Anett Kontaveit ended her 2021 season by winning 29 of her last 34 matches. The World No.7 picked up where she left off in her 2022 debut. In Sydney, Kontaveit defeated Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-3 in just 89 minutes. 

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova came from a set down to avoid being beaten in the first round. Notably, Kvitova had survived two match points in the final set to overcome Arantxa Rus, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5. 

“I really had to fight today a lot. I lost my first match in Adelaide and after losing in the beginning of the season, you don’t feel the best, and that was my case,” Kvitova said. 

“I tried to fight and I was trying every point. It was really difficult but somehow, I made it. It’s been a long time since I turned a match from match points, so this is something very special.”

Sportslumo Desk

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