On Saturday, Petra Kvitova defeated Elena Rybakina in straight sets at the Miami Open to win her 30th WTA singles championship.
Czech Kvitova, 33, won 7-6 (16/14) 6-2 at Hard Rock Stadium in her first Miami final match, propelling the seasoned player back into the top 10 of the global rankings.
After winning the title at Indian Wells, Rybakina entered the final on a winning run of 13 matches, which was a career high. Rybakina was attempting to complete the rare “Sunshine Double” by winning both WTA Masters events.
Up until Kvitova broke to go ahead 5-4, the match was close and controlled by serves. Rybakina, who represents Kazakhstan, broke back right away.
In the nail-biting 22 minutes, 28 seconds, 30-point shootout that served as the tie-break, two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova preserved five set points and won when Rybakina went back to the net.
Kvitova carried that momentum into the second set, breaking to go 2-0 up, and she never seemed like she would allow her opponent, who is 11 years her younger, to get back into the match after that.
In the following game, Rybakina missed a chance to break, and when she was serving to remain in the match at 5-2 deficit, she herself was broken once more.
Kvitova, who has now triumphed in 30 of her career’s championships, claimed that the tie-break had shifted the match in her favor.
“I’m still surprised. I think the tie-break really decided the whole match in the end…it was probably the longest in my career and somehow I managed it,” she said.
“(She hit) so many aces at the beginning of the tie-break, I was like oh my God, I couldn’t even play, so it was a little difficult,” added Kvitova, who now has nine WTA 1000 titles.
“I had to slowly serve it out very well today and I am glad I made it in the end but to be honest I have no idea how I did it,” she added.
Kvitova ended with 29 winners compared to 14 unforced errors, winning 52 of 67 service points for a percentage of 78.
Rybakina hit 10 or more aces in six straight matches in a single event with her 12 aces in the match, becoming the first woman to do so since Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2016.
Russian Daniil Medvedev will face Italian Jannik Sinner in the ATP final on Sunday. Sinner defeated Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinal match on Friday.