Kvitova sees off Rybarikova to retain Birmingham title

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Petra Kvitova, who hopes a successful title defence at the Birmingham Classic will help her bid to win Wimbledon for a third time, moved into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Germany's Julia Goerges on Friday.

The 28-year-old Czech, who has lifted four WTA titles this year, dominated the contest with 20 winners and saved all three break points she faced to progress to her sixth career semi-final on grass.

The victory is Kvitova's fifth WTA title of 2018 and gives her the flawless preparation for Wimbledon, which starts on 2 July. "So far this season is incredible, and I really can't imagine a better season so far".

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"I know definitely she likes to play on the grass, she reached the semi-finals previous year during Wimbledon".

The world No. 19, who also won the title in Birmingham in 2009, had to fight back from going down a break in both sets, but came out on top to set up a mouth-watering conclusion to the week tomorrow. Until I met her in Prague final, I didn't really know much about her. "We hadn't played each other on this surface before". "We are friends. We are watching the football every night". It's going to be quite amusing to play her. "There's a little bit of a difference, so you just need to think a little bit differently, which I did". During practice, we played here today, but during the match, it's going to be something totally different. "Magdalena put me under pressure with her (service) returns". Standing at 182cm, the left hander is able to generate plenty of speed on her serve, as well as from her groundstrokes. I didn't really start well in Australia.

The last time met at a tour level was in the New Haven final, where the Czech prevailed.

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West End singing star Emma Hatton will get Sunday's Nature Valley Classic finals day off to the ideal start by performing a series of musical favourites on court ahead of the singles final at Edgbaston Priory Club.

"When she's on fire, you can go shake her hand and say, 'Okay, I just want to leave from here.' She plays absolutely wonderful".

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