Petra Kvitova to face Magdalena Rybarikova in Birmingham final


Defending champion Petra Kvitova eased into the final of the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham by beating Mihaela Buzarnescu.

The Czech, a two-time Wimbledon champion, showed her strength on grass with a 6-3 6-2 win over the Romanian.

The fourth seed faces Magdalena Rybarikova in Sunday's final after the Slovak beat Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.

World number 19 Rybarikova was a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year.

Kvitova, who has won four WTA titles in 2018 - more than any other player - has yet to drop a set this week.

"Amazing statistics this week," the world number eight said. "I didn't expect that from the beginning of the season. I didn't really start well in Australia.

"So far this season is incredible, and I really can't imagine a better season so far."

While Kvitova was in command throughout her match, her final opponent Rybarikova could not say the same.

The 29-year-old had to fight back from a break down in both sets against opponent Strycova.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match because she's such a tricky player and she's amazingly talented," said Rybarikova, who won the Birmingham event in 2009.

Meanwhile, in Mallorca at another of the pre-Wimbledon grass-court events, Germany's Tatjana Maria reached her first WTA final by beating 19-year-old American Sofia Kenin 6-2 2-6 6-4.

The world number 79 will face either Latvian third seed Anastasija Sevastova or former US Open champion Sam Stosur of Australia in Sunday's final.

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