Miami Open 2023: Petra Kvitova defeats Elena Rybakina in straight sets to win the title

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Among active players, only Venus Williams (49) has won more WTA singles titles than Petra Kvitova (30).

Petra Kvitova claimed her first Miami Open title with a stunning two-set victory over Elena Rybakina.

After a marathon 30-point tie-break in the first set, Kvitova faced little trouble in the second and sealed a 7-6 (16-14) 6-2 victory.

It ended a 13-match winning streak for Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who was chasing the Sunshine Double after triumphing in Indian Wells last month.

Russian Daniil Medvedev plays Italian Jannik Sinner in the men’s final on Sunday.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Kvitova, 33, will return to the world’s top 10 for the first time since September 2021 with the 1000 ranking points that accompanied her victory, plus $1.26m (£1.02 million) in prizes.

Reaching the Miami final for the first time in 13 attempts, the 41st final of her career, the Czech put on a clinical display against a player who boasts the most main draw wins (21) on the WTA Tour this year in Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

After failing to take out the opening set at 5-4, Kvitova finally prevailed in a remarkable 22-minute tiebreaker, which swung back and forth until she converted her fifth set point opportunity, having faced five herself. .

World number seven Rybakina, 23, was unable to answer and her bid to become the fifth woman to achieve the Sunshine Double soon fizzled out.

Establishing a 3-0 lead in the second set after breaking early, Kvitova twice held serve and broke Rybakina again to seal her ninth WTA 1000 title and biggest win since Madrid in 2018.

“The tiebreaker, oh my gosh, it was probably the longest of my career and I kind of pulled it off,” Kvitova said.

“I had so many aces at the beginning of the tiebreaker that I couldn’t even play. So it was really difficult and surprising.”

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