Update 11:40 pm. Australia has become a prized hunting ground for Petra Kvitova after the unseeded Czech ripped her way through the Brisbane International final on Saturday night.
The 20 year old powered her way past in-form German Andrea Petkovic 6-1 6-3 for her second title on Australian soil, after winning in Hobart two years ago.
The talented left-hander was able to reproduce the form that took her to last year’s Wimbledon semifinals breaking her 23-year-old opponent in the opening game and barely put a foot wrong thereafter.
Ranked No.34 coming into the tournament, the WTA Tour’s 2010 Newcomer of the Year will be a name all 127 of her opponents will be keen to avoid when the Australian Open draw is released.
“I won Hobart, and then this, Brisbane, so I like Australia . I think so for sure, the confidence I have now hopefully I’ll play well in Melbourne,” Kvitova said.
For Petkovic, it was a disappointing finish to an otherwise stellar week where she comfortably beat the likes of Marion Bartoli, Jarmila Groth and Jelena Dokic.
“She’s got that game to make it in the big tournaments,” Petkovic said of Kvitova.
“When she’s on fire, it’s tough to get in the match. She serves well and she’s a leftie, which is really tough.”
In the second set, Kvitova upped the tempo, opening with an ace and three forehand winners to hold to love.
At 3-2 she called to see her coach Jozef Ivanko and his words of encouragement worked, with his young charge again breaking Petkovic to love on the back of some heavy shot making.
“I had to make the break and my coach said to me what I had to do in the game and I did it,” Kvitova said.
Drawing on the aggression that helped her comfortably dispose of in previous rounds, Petkovic managed to break back, but it was to little avail as Kvitova broke again and served out the match in one hour and 11 minutes.
Kvitova heads to Melbourne now brimming with confidence hoping to replicate the form she has shown in Brisbane.
“It’s tough to say of course,” she laughed when assessing her chances of claiming a breakthrough Grand Slam title Down Under.
“But hopefully I’ll play good and we’ll see what round I can be stopped.”
Sunday’s men’s doubles final kicks off at 12 noon with the men’s singles decider between No.1 seed Robin Soderling and No.2 seed Andy Roddick to follow. Some tickets still remain for the men’s final at Pat Rafter Arena. Tickets can be purchased online from Ticketek.