Not so long ago, Petra Kvitova’s career hung in the balance. Following a knife attack in her home, which damaged the tendons in her playing hand, many doubted she’d ever play at the highest level again.
Yet she defied all expectations, completing rehabilitation and competing on the tour again after only six months, returning at last year’s Roland Garros Championships.
Since then she’s managed to hang inside the top 30, winning a title in Birmingham along they way and notching wins over the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia and Ash Barty.
Entering the recent Qatar Open as the 16th seed, Kvitova survived an early round meeting with the resurgent Agnieszka Radwanska.
She then overcame third-ranked Elina Svitolina, tenth ranked Julia Goerges, before battling past world number 1 and Australian Open Champion Caroline Wozniacki.
Her opponent in the final, Garbiñe Muguruza, was granted a first round bye and after a tough three-setter with Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, received a walkover in the semi-final, after Simona Halep withdrew from the tournament due to injury.
Playing her eighth match in nine days, Kvitova started sluggishly, with Muguruza racing out to a 5-0 lead in the first set. But as the match wore on, Kvitova started finding range with her lefty forehand and won back a break of serve, losing the set 6-3 but gaining momentum.
The second set was punctuated by blazing, all-court rallies. Kvitova won with a single break of serve at 6-3.
After staving off break points in the fourth game, Kvitova claimed the decisive break of serve to lead 3-2. Muguruza took a medical timeout, receiving treatment on her left knee, but Kvitova held strong, taking the championship match 3-6 6-3 6-4.
The win propels the Czech back into the top ten, and extends her winning streak to 13 matches, as she lifted her second title in three weeks.