The 2019 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix concluded on Sunday with a noteworthy victory for Petra Kvitova who snapped the much talked about streak by becoming the first player on the WTA tour to win two titles in 2019. There’s more on the singles final in this post, as well as the doubles final which I was following closely! Read on for Sunday’s Set Points from Stuttgart…
Stuttgart doubles final review: Anna-Lena Friedsam & Mona Barthel d. Lucie Safarova & Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2-6 6-3 10-6
I took a keen interest in the Stuttgart doubles final as Safarova was playing in what could be her penultimate tour event. It was a great week for Lucie and Anastasia in reaching the final. They just came up short against the improving German pair who increasingly took control of the net.
Anastasia gave a lovely speech to Lucie, telling her that she loved her and wished she wouldn’t retire! And then they hugged and it was just all too much 😭😂. Lucie is set to head to Prague next where she is teaming up in doubles with Barbora Stefkova. I was scanning through the singles draw last night, name my name, looking for Lucie. I was sad to not see her name in the draw. The future after Prague seems uncertain as I believe Lucie has requested a wild card for the French Open. However, there is no guarantee it will be granted.
Congrats to the German team of Barthel and Friedsam – both seem to be healthy right now following spells on the sidelines for injury/illness so I hope it stays that way.
Stuttgart singles final review: Petra Kvitova d. Anett Kontaveit, 6-3 7-6(2)
Kvitova won Stuttgart for the first time in her career, saving a pair of set points in the second set to beat Anett Kontaveit in straights. It was a clutch display from Kvitova who needed just the one break in the first set and then held firm in some tricky moments in the second set before playing a near-faultless tiebreak.
It was a week that showcased Kvitova’s improving consistency and reliability on tour. There were fleeting glimpses of peak Petra (the final set vs. Bertens 🔥) but it was mostly a very solid and secure run. I feel that Kvitova’s improved movement has really added to her game and she can succeed when not everything in her game is working perfectly. I feel she has carved out a pretty dependable B-game.
I liked Kvitova’s aggressive streak against Bertens in the semi-finals and i’d love to see her come forward more often to the net because she’s a quality and underrated volleyer. I really hope that Petra can reach the world number one spot at sometime this year. It would be a very special moment.
Kvitova’s depth caused Kontaveit plenty of problems and the one-two punch was extremely effective. I thought Kontaveit competed superbly as there were signs that Kvitova may run away with the final at the start of the second set. Clay has always been a successful spell of the season for Kontaveit – last year she lost to the eventual champion in Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome before losing to the eventual finalist at Roland Garros. While a lot of points to defend, I think that Kontaveit’s confidence is high right now. Definitely one to watch on the clay.
I always thought Petra’s big serving game matched the courts in Stuttgart well so i’m glad to see her add this title to her trophy cabinet! A few highlights from the week but generally, i’ve found the last two editions of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix to be a tad underwhelming. Azarenka-Pliskova was my favourite match from the tournament. I think it’s a shame that the tournament comes directly after the Fed Cup. We now move onto Prague and then the Madrid-Rome double. I’ve always hated Madrid but i’m going to try and embrace it this year with the start of the tournament taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend.