Kvitova outlasts Pliskova for Sydney crown

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Sydney, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Petra Kvitova captured her first title of 2015 with a straight-set victory over fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova in Friday's final at the Sydney International.

The second-seeded Kvitova gutted out a pair of tiebreaks to earn a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6) victory, claiming her 15th career title and third in Australia.

"I'm glad I can stand here as the winner of this tournament," Kvitova said.

"For me, this week will always give me great memories in my mind."

Kvitova previously won Australian Open tune-up crowns in 2009 at Hobart and 2011 at Brisbane. She has struggled somewhat in the opening Grand Slam event of the year, however, with four exits before the third round and a semifinal finish in 2012 her best result in six tries.

The last two visits to Melbourne have been particularly rough, a second-round setback in 2013 and a stunning first-round loss last year against Luksika Kumkhum. She will face a qualifier in the first round next week.

Pliskova fell to 3-4 all-time in WTA finals. She reached five title matches last year, winning twice, and is expected to move into the Top 20 for the first time when the new rankings are released next week.

"Congratulations to Petra," Pliskova said. "She had an amazing week. She was playing very well today and was definitely the better player out there, so I wish her good luck in Melbourne next week.

"But it was a good week for me before Melbourne too. I hope to come back next year."

A qualifier is also on the first-round schedule for Pliskova In Melbourne next week.

Kvitova improved to 2-0 lifetime against Pliskova, also winning last year in Wuhan, China, and she earned a first prize of $124,000.