South African Kevin Anderson and Czech Petra Kvitova gained some confidence moving into the US Open on Saturday with titles at tour stops in Winston-Salem and New Haven respectively.
Anderson beat French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-5 to claim the Winston-Salem Open, his first title of the year in his third appearance in a final.
“I’ve been in a few finals and come up short, which is always tough,” said Anderson, who broke a streak of seven consecutive finals lost. “Each final is a different situation, and for some reason it just hadn’t happened for me. Someone has to win and someone has to lose.”
Herbert, No. 140 entering the event, qualified then upset seeds Marcos Baghdatis and Steve Johnson en route to his first final.
“I came here to play some matches, but I didn’t expect to play that much,” said the qualifier after his ninth match in Winston-Salem. “I’m really happy since it’s the best result of my career. There are no regrets because I think I played a good final, but [Anderson] was better and more experienced today.”
Kvitova in the all-Czech all-lefty all-dressed-alike New Haven final beat Lucie Safarova 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-2 to win her third Connecticut Open.
Safarova came out hammering the ball in the first set, but immediately in the second looked like she had used the majority of her gas tank with the effort.
It was the third WTA title of the year for the world No. 5, improving to a sterling 17-5 in career finals.
“Her game is improving a lot,” Kvitova said of her oft-times practice partner Safarova. “We know each other well from Fed Cups and off the court as well. She’s very dangerous and fast.”
Kvitova improved to a perfect 7-0 career versus her countrywoman.
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