Petra Kvitova ends clay hoodoo with Prague Open success

Tennis
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova won her third title of the season - and first on clay for three years - on home soil at the Prague Open.

The second seed recovered from a set down to defeat Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6 6-3 6-2 to give the tournament its third Czech winner in four years, after Karolina Pliskova and Lucie Safarova.

Kvitova, who has also won titles in St Petersburg and Doha this season, tweeted: "This trophy was one of the most emotional of my 23. The fans this week moved me to tears. All I can say is thank you everyone! Your support means everything and more."

Belgian Elise Mertens also won her third title in 2018 at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat with a 6-2 7-6 (7/4) win against Ajla Tomljanovic.

Mertens, ranked 19th, is yet to lose a match on clay this season having also won a title in Lugano as well as two Fed Cup rubbers.

The first round got under way at the Madrid Open, where Venus Williams and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko were first-round casualties.

Fifth seed Ostapenko, who stunned the tennis world with her victory at Roland Garros last summer, fell 6-3 6-3 to Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu while eighth seed Williams was beaten 3-6 6-3 6-2 by Anett Kontaveit.

But there was plenty of success for the big names, with Elina Svitolina, Pliskova and Caroline Garcia all progressing.

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