Petra Kvitova Moves Within Two Wins of Birmingham Title Defence

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Petra Kvitova, who hopes a successful title defence at the Birmingham Classic will help her bid to win Wimbledon for a third time, moved into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Germany's Julia Goerges on Friday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion turned on the style after losing the first set and sealed the match with an ace at the end of a love service game.

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The victory is Kvitova's fifth WTA title of 2018 and gives her the ideal preparation for Wimbledon, which starts on 2 July. But I'm fit and that's what is really making me happy, that I can nearly play every week and enjoy it because I had so many years that I didn't play. The two playerS met in the Prague final during the clay-court season in which Kvitova managed to grab the win, but this will be their first encounter on the grasS, which heavily favours the Czech.

Buzarnescu next faces defending champion Petra Kvitova, who has been in imperious form again in Birmingham and romped to a 6-1 6-4 victory over fifth seed Julia Goerges.

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A double fault from Rybarikova led to another break and her continual errors ensured the match was swiftly levelled.

Up next, for Kvitova is Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu, who produced one of her finest grasscourt performances to put away second seed Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-2. "She's such a tricky player and she's amazingly talented". But if she is, then for me it's a great tournament. "She has a little bit of a different serve as well. Like I said, she's a really great player and she's the favourite of this match". I will try my best. "We are friends. We are watching the football every night. I kept her longest in the match today". Kvitova looked towards that big semifinal and the advantages that Buzarnescu can have on a grass court herself. But on the other hand, I felt good on the court from the first rounds. "This is an fantastic result for me".

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Rybarikova started well, with Kvitova showing more nerves than the Slovak in the early stages.

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