Sevastova wins Berlin hard court exhibition

BERLIN, Jul 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/20/2020 9:54:48 AM IST

A trio of victories over Top 15 players earned Anastasija Sevastova victory in the second leg of the non-WTA exhibition event in Berlin this week.

After beating Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina on the temporary hard court constructed at Berlin’s Tempelhof Hangar, the Latvian rallied from a set down to beat Petra Kvitova, 3-6, 6-3, 10-5 in Sunday’s final match.

“It was always tough. Against Petra, she’s such a great player - you don’t get any rhythm and she plays so fast. I just tried to stay there and wait for my chances,” Sevastova said.

“I started to serve better in the second set. I had my chances and I knew that I had to take them at 4-3. It was just a couple of points that decided the match.”

After leading 2-0 in the opener, Sevastova lost six of the next seven games to lose her first set of the hard court portion of the tournament, but stayed ahead on serve for the first half of the second set before earning the decisive break in the eighth game.

The World No.43 later took advantage of untimely unforced errors from Kvitova’s racquet to begin the match tiebreak, as she opened up a commanding 5-1 lead at the change of ends, and had a lead of as much as 7-2 before closing out the win on her third match point.

Earlier in the day, home favourite Andrea Petkovic beat Svitolina in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(1), to claim third place in the second leg of the competition.

Plans for Berlin’s official return to the WTA calendar for the first time since 2008 - as a grass court Premier-level event - were put on hold this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The six-day exhibition tournament was played with limited spectators and other social distancing precautions to ensure safe competition.

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