Wimbledon champ Kvitova into Aussie quarterfinals
MELBOURNE — Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova recovered from an embarrassing air swing and a two-game lapse to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 7-6 (2) on Monday for a spot in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
The 21-year-old Czech was dominant against Ivanovic until her game momentarily came undone near the end of the second set after she missed a routine overhead at the net to allow the former French Open champion to pull to 4-5.
She lost the next eight points to fall behind 6-5 — badly missing on a couple of wild groundstrokes — and only managed to force a tiebreaker with two big serves out wide in the 12th game.
Ivanovic’s two double-faults early in the tiebreaker gave Kvitova some easy points and took the pressure off.
The match seemed close to ending much earlier when Kvitova got into perfect position to put away an innocuous lob from Ivanovic but played through the shot too quickly and was hit instead on the body.
“It was a very tough match at the end. I mean it was a really easy point then I thought I got it and I lost eight points in a row,” she said. “I’m very happy I played very well in the tiebreak.”
She’ll next play either Sara Errani of Italy or China’s Zheng Jie, a semifinalist here in 2010.
China’s top hope went out Sunday when French Open champion Li Na wasted four match points before losing to defending Australian titlist Kim Clijsters in rematch of last year’s final.