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May 1, 2017

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Wimbledon champ Kvitova nabs New Haven title

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut -- Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won her second WTA Connecticut Open title in three years Saturday, defeating Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-2 in the U.S. Open warm-up event.

Fourth-ranked Kvitova, the 2012 New Haven winner who lost to Simona Halep in last year's final, will be the women's third seed when the year's last Grand Slam tournament begins Monday in New York.

"It was great to win the title. I'm very happy to play the final like that," Kvitova said. "Hopefully I can show that at the U.S. Open."

Rybarikova, ranked 68th, ousted top-seeded Halep on Tuesday but could not claim her fifth WTA title and the first since 2013 in Washington.

Kvitova claimed her 13th career WTA crown and second of the year after her dramatic Wimbledon victory, adding momentum to her bid for another Grand Slam title in the Flushing Meadows fortnight.

Never dropping a set, Kvitova lost only 18 games at New Haven and fired 31 winners to only six for Rybarikova.

"I needed some matches before the U.S. Open so I'm very proud of getting through like that," Kvitova said.

"I'll enjoy today but from tomorrow I will focus on the U.S. Open."

Kvitova escaped a break-point to hold in the opening game of the match and broke in the sixth game to seize a 5-2 edge.

But Rybarikova denied Kvitova on two set points in the eighth game and then broke back to 5-4, only to have Kvitova break again to take the set when Rybarikova netted a backhand.

In the second set, Kvitova broke with a forehand winner for a 4-2 lead and broke again to claim the title with a service return winner on her first match-point opportunity.

"Magdalena in the first set was a very tough opponent," Kvitova said. "I had to really focus until I got that first break in the second set."

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