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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Kvitova looks the class act in Birmingham

Petra Kvitova is a class act
1 of 1

Eurosport, 11am Monday

Petra Kvitova looks the class act in the Aegon Classic field and can win her first tournament since suffering tendon and nerve injuries to her left hand when she was the victim of a burglary in December last year.

The initial prognosis was that Kvitova faced six months off the court but she returned to action ahead of schedule at the French Open where she suffered a 7-6 7-6 second-round loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Failing to make a bold bid at Roland Garros was no surprise but Kvitova struck the ball well and her powerful game will be much better suited to the grass courts at Edgbaston.

The Czech is one of the best grass-court players on the circuit and will hope to be a contender at Wimbledon where she won in 2011 and 2014.

A decent run at Edgbaston would be ideal preparation for the All England Club and her chances increased when top seed Angelique Kerber, a potential semi-final opponent, withdrew on Sunday with a hamstring problem.

Kvitova does not have to face a seeded player until the quarter-final and would dominate her half of the draw at anywhere near her best.

Elena Svitolina has replaced Kerber as top seed but stays in the bottom half. The Ukrainian has a poor record on grass - winning two of six matches at Wimbledon – and is unlikely to contend despite being housed in a weak looking fourth quarter.

There is scope for a surprise contender to emerge from that section to reach the semi-final and Australian Ashleigh Barty could be the one.

The former Wimbledon girls champion reached the quarter-finals at the Aegon Open in Nottingham last week and looks each-way value.

The third quarter of the draw looks the strongest and could be contested by Garbine Muguruza, Coco Vandeweghe and Johanna Konta. All three have games well suited to grass but don't appeal because of their unfavourable draw.

P Kvitova
2pts 9-2 general
A Barty
1pt each-way 66-1 Betfred

There is scope for a surprise contender to reach the semi-final and Australian Ashleigh Barty could be the one
E.W. Terms
Sky bet