Fifth seed Petra Kvitova will meet US eighth seed Madison Keys for a place in her second Brisbane International final after stifling qualifier Jennifer Brady’s red hot run on Friday.
The Czech – a champion in Brisbane nine years ago – secured the quarter-final clash on Pat Rafter Arena 6-4 6-2.
The pair took 18 minutes to split the opening two games and could not be separated on serve until the ninth game when Kvitova hammered a forehand return winner to break for the set, 6-4.
It was the Czech’s 18th winner and set the tone for the second set as another cross-court forehand winner secured the break for 3-1.
When Brady overplayed one final backhand when serving to stay in the match the result was complete after 80 minutes.
“So far, yeah, I’m feeling good and that’s important,” Kvitova said.
“My body’s still not falling apart yet, so that’s good as well. Yeah, I think that since the first set with Anastasia, I think my serve got better, for sure, and I feel more confident in the ground strokes as well. So that’s probably the biggest differences.”
Kvitova finished with a lop-sided 30 winner to her opponent’s eight.
Petra powers through!@Petra_Kvitova is fine form, taking out Jen Brady 6-4 6-2 in just one hour, 19 minutes.
— #BrisbaneTennis (@BrisbaneTennis) January 10, 2020
The 53rd-ranked Brady had already taken down five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova and world No.1 Ashleigh Barty back to back.
But beating a third straight major champion in succession proved a hurdle too high.
“Her serve was very difficult,” Kvitova said. “She’s young, definitely she improved her game, she’s more confident as I see.
“Sometimes you serve the second serve like a first serve so it was like, yeah, OK, that’s pretty understandable that she’s going for it.”
While the trophy has changed since the 29-year-old’s last title run in Brisbane, the memories of that run were not lost on the Czech.
“Actually when I see that photo I do remember that great season I had, which I won at Wimbledon and the WTA Finals in the end of the year, so it was a great season from it,” Kvitova recalled.
“And, yeah, I do remember, it was my first big tournament and, yeah, it was a good one.”