RIO 2016Tennis

Petra Kvitova beats Ashleigh Barty to claim first title since knife attack at the Aegon Classic

Petra Kvitova completed an emotional Aegon Classic victory to seal her first WTA Tour title since being subjected to a career-threatening knife attack last year.

The two-time Wimbledon champion sustained serious hand injuries when an intruder broke into her apartment and attacked her last December.

It was an incident that could have called a premature halt to her playing days but, having returned at the French Open, the 27-year-old underlined her strength of character by coming from behind to defeat Ashleigh Barty 4-6 6-3 6-2 in Birmingham.

The result saw Kvitova take her 20th Tour title and first at the grass-court tournament.

World number 77 Barty made a bright start and, having forced a break in the third game, held her nerve when facing two break-back points as she served out the first set.

But she was broken in her opening service game of the second as Kvitova launched her fightback.

The Czech was largely dominant in the decider, earning three breaks to her Australian opponent’s one, and closed the contest by losing just one point in the final three games.

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