Petra Kvitova beats Victora Azarenka to win Madrid Open
Petra Kvitova won her third title of the year and gave notice that she could be a French Open threat as she defeated Victora Azarenka at the Madrid Open.
The Czech, ranked 18th, came through 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 against fourth seed Azarenka and will enter the world's top 10 for the first time on Monday.
Azarenka, who won the doubles title, with Maria Kirilenko on Saturday, will rise one place to number four.
Kvitova adds a first clay title to wins in Brisbane and Paris already in 2011.
“I had some opportunities and there are a few things I should have done better, but that's how tennis works”
"We know each other so it was going to be tough to find the key, but I think it was who will play faster, who will be the more aggressive - and I was the first!" she said afterwards.
"It's nice to win the tournament and to be in the top 10 at the same time, but it's just a number. I want to improve my game and we'll see - I don't want to be only number 10!"
The 21-year-old began Sunday's final with a break of serve but was pegged back by Belarusian Azarenka in the third game, only to dominate the tie-break by reeling off the last five points.
Following four breaks in the second set, Kvitova moved ahead again at 5-3 and, despite seeing Azarenka save a match point in game nine, she served out the victory after one hour and 42 minutes.
"Petra had such a great week and totally deserved to win today," said Azarenka. "She showed some impressive tennis.
"I had some opportunities and there are a few things I should have done better, but that's how tennis works. Now I'm looking forward to Rome and the other tournaments coming up. I'm taking it day by day and we'll see what happens."