Kvitova sends Wimbledon warning by winning Birmingham title

Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion whose career was nearly ended by a knife attack, reached her first semi-final since the incident seven months ago by winning her third straight-set match at Birmingham on Friday.

"I couldn't have imagined to have a better comeback than I am having now".

"I was just thinking about my game and I'm sorry for her that she's unhealthy, but I hope she will be better soon", Kvitova said.

She saved two breaks of serve at 5-4 to take the opening set, the first Kvitova had lost in the tournament. This time, she put herself out of trouble with an ace and a good first serve and gained a chance to hold with a backhand victor.

But a fired-up Kvitova responded immediately as she blasted back from 40-0 down to reel off a series of winners and once again take control of the set. She's won Wimbledon a couple of times and is fantastic on grass court as well.

But on Friday was Kvitova's turn to receive the applause, as she revealed that many parts of her incisive grass court game are in working order and that many things may still be possible despite enduring problems with the injured hand.

Kvitova will have a very different sort of match against Barty, who began to find a pattern which discomforted Muguruza mid-way through the second set.

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Benefiting from the injury retirement of Italian Camila Giorgi, Australia's Ashleigh Barty also made it through to the final four of the Wimbledon warm-up, although compatriot Daria Gavrilova wasn't so fortunate, falling to Lucie Safarova in three sets. Kvitova is definitely one of them. Kvitova said afterwards that she's tried to stay focused on the good throughout her recovery, and that she's feeling good.

The 27-year-old will head into the third Grand Slam tournament of the season as one of the favourites for the title, with reigning champion Serena Williams taking time out from the sport to give birth to her first child, and last year's runner-up Angelique Kerber having a hard season. Even so her initial comeback in 2016 was interrupted by injury, so this actually her first tilt at a full season.

After falling in the first set, Kvitova raced out to a dominating 5-1 lead in the second set before closing it out 6-3 to force the deciding set.

After an exchange of holds, the Aussie found a chance to recover in the fourth game, when a huge error from the net from Kvitova gave her a break point. So I think that's important.

On the other, we have Barty who's similar decision to recharge and the opportunity came up for her play cricket.

Remarkably, she's playing only her second tournament and only her sixth match since she was attacked in December.

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