Kvitova reaches first final since attack

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Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova admits she has exceeded her expectations by winning a tournament just six months after the stabbing that threatened to end her career.

Petra Kvitova may be enjoying a dream comeback after having her playing hand slashed by a home intruder but she insists she is not a contender for Wimbledon.

Yet the second set took a turn towards the Czech when Kvitova broke in the second game after some errors from Barty, which until that point had been largely absent from the Australian's game. "She's changing direction a lot, slice, some volleys drop shot". Falling 15-40 down after two return winners, Barty's forehand error caused her to get broken at the very start of the set.

Mladenovic's serve at 5-6 looked good enough to win the point and draw her level again, with Kvitova's return appearing about to slide wide.

Muguruza fought hard, attacked early when she could, and managed one break back, but never quite solved the tactical problem confronting her.

"I like to play finals on the grass", Kvitova said with a smile when reminded this was her first grass court final since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

"I think it's kind of a fairytale".

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"It is fantastic to see Kvitova back, and she is a weapon on grass, so hopefully I have nothing to lose in the final".

"For me it is important to use my slice on the grass and I love coming out here, slicing away and getting a bit of purchase on the ball and I was able to do that and it was really pleasing" Barty said.

It took a second-set tiebreak and one hour 43 minutes for Kvitova to secure the win which sets up a semi-final clash with compatriot Lucie Safarova.

"I'm going to Wimbledon to play, to do whatever I can, but I'm not really seeing myself as a favorite or anything like that. Tennis is an individual sport but I feel like we are not just opponents, we are colleagues and a family as well".

Her win had a hint of inevitability from the start, for she had prevailed in all nine previous encounters against Safarova, a former world No. 5.

But in a stunning performance against Barty, Kvitova battled back from losing the first set and stepped up in the second half of the decider to seal victory.

Barty burned me in the semifinals and has a chance to do it again.

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