April 2, 2023
Petra Kvitova held her nerve to edge an extraordinary first-set tie-break – and Elena Rybakina never quite recovered from the drama.
This battle between Wimbledon singles champions lived up to its billing for sheer dramatic intrigue.
Petra Kvitova and Elena Rybakina are sure to give us more thrills and spills at Wimbledon 2023.
And Miami certainly gave us an indication of what marvellous entertainment we can expect at the All England Club.
Some breakers you simply never forget – and spectators in Florida must have thought this one would go on forever.
It lasted thirty points – and you sensed whoever came out on top would take the title itself.
How lucky we were to be treated to such a rollercoaster in the showpiece!
Ironically that only happened because Kvitova failed to serve out the first set when she was 5-4 up.
No one in the crowd will regret witnessing her lapse in concentration, considering what happened next.
The breaker will go down in Miami history as one of the most enthralling.
Kvitova had to save five set points just to stay in the first-set fight – and the tie-break lasted some twenty-two minutes.
Time and again it seemed that reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina would make two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova pay for missing her chance earlier in the set.
But Petra kept her cool and exerted her own pressure as the plot twisted this way and that.
Finally Kvitova breathed a sigh of relief as she seized and converted her own fifth set point.
It was a crushing blow to the Kazakh, who couldn’t offer the same intense resistance in the second set.
And that effectively ended the Indian Wells champion’s thirteen-match winning streak.
Petra claimed her maiden Miami Open title 7-6 (16-14), 6-2 and still couldn’t believe how it all unfolded.
She gasped: ‘That tie-break, oh my god, it was probably the longest I’ve ever played in my career and somehow I managed to win it..
‘She had so many aces at the beginning of the tie-break that I couldn’t even play. So it was really difficult. And amazing.’
Petra Kvitova will aim to amaze us all at Wimbledon 2023 as she seeks a hat-trick of singles titles there.
But Rybakina will do everything she can to defend her title after her heroics in London last summer.
Will you come to Wimbledon 2023 to watch the biggest stars in action at the historic home of the tennis?
We have just the right tickets waiting for you.