Wimbledon Favorite Kvitova Cruises Into Birmingham Final, Rybarikova Next

Magdalena Rybarikova Birmingham 2018

Nature Valley Classic: Petra Kvitova beats Julia Goerges to reach semi-finals

Standing between Kvitova and her second-straight Birmingham title is unseeded Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova, who was a 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 victor over Barbora Strycova in the day's other semi-final.

Rybarikova defeated Barbora Strycova 7-6 (1) 6-4 on Saturday and Kvitova followed with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-2.

She saved a match point to extend the duel but Petra completed her win with a hold at love in game eight to wrap up the ideal tournament and show her greatness on grass once again before the third Grand Slam of the season.

"It's really been an incredible two weeks I've had, having played so little in the grass in my career".

"Amazing statistics this week!"

She said, after the match: I knew it was going to be hard because Barbora is such a huge fighter and returning quite well. For me, Petra is one of the best players when she is playing really on fire, so we will see how it's going to be her day tomorrow.

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The fifth goal came shortly before half time, when a catalogue of fouls in the box could have earned England their second penalty. The margin of victory for England topped 3-0 wins over Poland and Paraguay in Mexico in 1986, and against Denmark in 2002.

Earlier in the day, 2009 victor Magdalena Rybarikova and two-time runner-up Barbora Strycova set up an intriguing semi-final clash after the pair collected convincing victories. "The nerves are always there, and I just try to play as well as I can and win".

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

In the other semfinal, defending champion Petra Kvitova faces Mihaela Buzarnescu, the Romanian who nearly quit after two knee operations and has risen more than 230 places to a career-high 30 this week.

"I know definitely she likes to play on the grass, she reached the semifinals previous year during Wimbledon". She's really unbelievable girl. That's kind of great to have different opponents with different style that you can be really prepare for the next matches. I was just keeping up the good performance on it.

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

In Mallorca, Garcia went down 6-3, 6-3 to Sofia Kenin, with Lucie Safarova, another seed, also knocked out by Tatjana Maria.

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