St Petersburg Open: Petra Kvitova dominates to defeat Kristina Mladenovic

Petra Kvitova
Kvitova hit nine aces on her way to victory

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won her first title of the year with a dominant victory over Kristina Mladenovic at the St Petersburg Open.

The Czech needed just 65 minutes to beat 2017 champion Mladenovic 6-1 6-2 for her 21st career WTA title.

Kvitova, who fell to an early first-round exit at last month's Australian Open, moves back up to 21 in the world rankings.

"This was a special tournament for me," said Kvitova, 27.

Kvitova entered the tournament in Russia as a wildcard but reached her first final since winning the Aegon Classic in June - six months after sustaining career-threatening hand injuries after being stabbed by an intruder at her home.

She was dominant in the opening stages of the match at the Sibur Arena, hitting 16 winners to take the first set against Mladenovic.

She broke her French opponent's serve twice more in the second set as she sealed victory, maintaining her streak of winning at least one WTA title a year since 2011.

"All week, I played unbelievable matches and I really had to fight to make the final," Kvitova added.

"It is not easy at the beginning of the year. I had to focus hard for the win."

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