Kvitova beats No. 1-ranked Kerber for Q-final place
DOUBLE Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova put aside thoughts of rankings to down newly crowned world No. 1 Angelique Kerber in an epic three sets - 6-7(10), 7-5, 6-4 - at the Wuhan Open on Wednesday.
The US and Australian Open champion, playing her first tournament since ascending to top spot, took the first set after an aggressive 22-point tie break.
Kvitova took an early lead in the second set, going 5-3 up, before a surge from the German brought them level.
But Kerber failed to capitalise on the gain, taking the two left-handers into a third set - and a third hour of play.
"I think that in the really important moments, I (made) two, three easy mistakes, which was the key in the second set," Kerber told reports after the match.
The Olympic bronze medallist surged ahead in the final set, but Kerber denied her the first match point, pushing for another game - and five match points - before Kvitova was able to bag her place in the quarter-finals.
"When you're playing, you just don't really care about the rankings. But, of course, it's nice to beat world No. 1," the Czech told reporters after the match.
Next round Kvitova will face Briton Johanna Konta, who boosted her chances of qualifying for her first WTA final when she beat eighth ranked Carla Suarez Navarro in another tight duel.