Petra Kvitova produced another fightback to claim the Qatar Open title as she came from a set down to defeat Garbine Muguruza in an enthralling final.
Kvitova's performance at the tournament in Doha has been defined by revivals, having also recovered from losing the first set in wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and world number one Caroline Wozniacki.
But another such comeback looked like it may be beyond her when she lost the first set to a player in Muguruza who had a walkover in the semi-finals with Simona Halep forced to pull out.
However, Muguruza's first tournament back working with Conchita Martinez, who helped her to Wimbledon glory last year, did not end with a title as Kvitova produced a stunning display of endurance and resilience to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory.
The victory takes her match winning streak to 13, secures successive titles after her triumph in St Petersburg and moves her back into the top 10.
Muguruza hardly put a foot wrong to start the contest as she surged into a 3-0 lead, a break to love coming in the second game as Kvitova fired long.
The impact of the rest Muguruza received was perhaps best exemplified in the third game as she scurried to meet a Kvitova drop shot, which she met with a perfectly placed volley to consolidate her command of the first set, before it was then further strengthened by a careless Kvitova double fault that handed her a second break.
Kvitova rattled off three straight games to cut the gap to 5-3, only for her to misjudge a deep Muguruza forehand and surrender the set.
The Czech emerged for the second set with renewed confidence and survived further pressure on her serve in part thanks to a magnificent backhand volley after Muguruza had sent her scampering across court with a drop shot.
A second gutsy hold of the set was required in the fifth game before an outstanding backhand to the corner of the baseline gave Kvitova the break and a 4-2 advantage.
Two break-back points were staved off and, though Muguruza held to force Kvitova to serve the set out, she promptly did so, the clinching point met with a shriek of approval.
A net cord helped Muguruza check Kvitova's momentum and save a break point in the first game of the decider.
However, she received no such helping hand in the fourth game, two break points going begging despite Muguruza excelling with the backhand return.
And Muguruza looked worn down when she sent a backhand into the net at the end of a mammoth baseline rally to give Kvitova the breakthrough, then receiving strapping on her knee in a medical timeout.
After seeing off another break point Kvitova was unable to capitalise on two more of her own, but the battle of wills was finally decided in her favour after two hours and 15 minutes as her fine run continued.
19 de marzo 2018
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