Published November 20, 2014
Czech Petra Kvitova defeated Russian Maria Kirilenko to win a final U.S. Open tune-up, the $637,000 New Haven Open at Yale.
The second-seeded Kvitova delivered seven aces en route to a 7-6 (11-9), 7-5 win.
After outlasting Kirilenko in a marathon first set that lasted more than an hour, Kvitova stormed back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set, winning five straight games and the match.
"In the tie-break I just played point by point -- I wasn't thinking about the score," Kvitova said. "In the end it was pretty close and I'm really glad I won it."
"After that, I was down physically, without energy," Kvitova added. "It seemed like I was walking, not running. I made a lot of mistakes and went 5-2 down -- but then I tried not to think about my shots or tactics and started putting the ball into the court more."
The 22-year-old Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011, earned $107,000 for the victory.
The triumph also marked Kvitova's ninth singles title and her second of 2012.
Seventh-seeded Kirilenko, who had defeated Kvitova in three of five previous meetings, walked away with $57,000 as the runner-up.
"Even though I lost I still feel positive," Kirilenko said. "I played really well this week. I played a good match today. Unfortunately, I was unlucky in the final today."
The 25-year-old Kirilenko advanced to her first U.S. tour final when the tournament's four-time defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, was forced to retire due to a knee injury on Friday.
Kvitova is the No. 5 seed at the U.S. Open and will play her first-round match against Polona Hercog on Monday.
"It's unbelievable -- I played three tournaments in a row and won two," Kvitova, who won the Rodgers Cup in Montreal two weeks ago, said. "I've played a lot of matches and I'm feeling more relaxed and confident on the court. I hope all of this will continue into the U.S. Open next week."
Kirilenko is the No. 14 seed and will face Chanelle Scheepers in the first round of the U.S. Open.