Petra Kvitova strolls into Birmingham semis

Kvitova lines up Buzarnescu meeting in Birmingham semis

The two-time Grand Slam victor made a thunderous start to her quarterfinal match against the German No. 2 Julia Goerges as she raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set, but Goerges did have plenty of opportunities, holding game point in four of the seven games in the first set-but she got punished for not bringing her best level for the big points of the set.

The world number eight now leads the WTA in wins (37) and titles (five) this year, but she was initially troubled by Rybarikova, who threatened an upset after taking the first set.

"For me, Petra is one of the best players when she is playing really on fire". She's a great player, wonderful on grass.

"It's fantastic to defend a title", said Kvitova.

Rybarikova opened the match in a stronger fashion, breaking at love in game three for a 3-1 lead but Petra converted her fifth break point in game six to level the score at 3-3.

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Up next, for Kvitova is Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu, who produced one of her finest grasscourt performances to put away second seed Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-2. "She's an unbelievable player, so young and so many achievements until now and so many to come". I felt since the beginning good on grass. "So you think how to get it a little bit different, which I did after a few games". It was tough to fightback but I was relaxed and it paid off afterward.

Svitolina was the highest ranked player in the quarter-final draw in Birmingham, with Garbine Muguruza knocked out earlier in the week, but she too fell by the wayside.

However, Rybarikova broke straight back and from that point looked like the momentum was firmly back on her side, breaking again for a spot in her second Birmingham final. She has a reliable two-handed backhand and a solid forehand, and will look to come to the net as often as she can.

"I'm nearly always expected to win, so it's never really easy going into a match in a semifinal at a tournament that I really like". She's in good form as we see. I didn't really start well in Australia. "This is an incredible result for me".

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