Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova scored her biggest success in 15 months when a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 victory over Sara Errani earned her the Dubai Open title on Saturday.
There were moments in the first and third sets when Kvitova looked as though she could become a Grand Slam challenger, but in between she was thankful that she could discover enough mental strength to recover from a rocky mid-match spell.
It means that the fierce-hitting 22-year-old Czech has now won eight of her 10 career titles at Premier or Grand Slam level, a statistic which says something about her capacity for delivering when it matters most.
Italian Errani, who was voted the tour’s most improved player last year, played with surprising courage to abandon her patient rallying in favour of flatter hitting and net attacks.
Although this did not turn the match completely around it did prevent it becoming a rout.
“It was up and down, but I can say I was focussed and calm, which was important after the second set,” said Kvitova.
“It was important to stay in the game and to do my best and to be aggressive.”