Kvitova defeats Li in long battle to win women's Rogers Cup
Published Monday, August 13, 2012 9:58PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:16AM EDT
MONTREAL -- Petra Kvitova has won the women's US$2.17 million women's Rogers Cup.
The 22-year-old Czech outlasted China's Li Na for a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 victory in the two hour 17 minute final on Monday night before a less-than capacity crowd at Uniprix Stadium.
It was Kvitova's first tournament win of the year after taking six titles last year, including Wimbledon. She won $360,000 while Li got $180,000.
It was the first of Kvitova's eight career victories to be won in North America.
The match pitted two grand slam champions from 2011, as Li took the French Open. Li is 0-3 in tournament finals this year.
Kvitova, seeded fifth, struggled to start, hitting several balls long, and fell behind 3-1 before she found the range with her forehand and charged back to take the lead. Even then, she needed to save three break points to take a 6-5 lead, then won the set on her fifth break point against 10th-seeded Li.
Spectators were stunned to see Li take the first 16 points of the second set to grab a 4-0 lead before Kvitova finally held serve.
But Kvitova got her game back for the third, hammering shots deep in the hardcourt that Li could not return. Li didn't help herself by hitting two easy smashes into the net.
Her service was broken at 3-2 when she doubled faulted, then had a return fly wide off the rim of her racket.
Kvitova punctuated the win with an ace on match point.
Kvitova, a southpaw who won on International Lefthanders Day, reached the final with a three-set victory over seventh-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.
Li had a tougher route, getting past local prospect Eugenie Bouchard, eighth-seeded Sara Errani and second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska just to reach the semifinals.
There she roared back from a 5-1 third-set deficit to defeat another Czech lefty, Lucie Safarova.
Under agreement with the WTA, organizers had a private jet waiting at the airport to take the finalists to the next Tour stop in Cincinnati.