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Petra Kvitova on that tie-break against Rybakina: “I think it was the longest one I ever played in my life”
Over the course of 22 minutes, the two watched a total of nine set points come and go before Kvitova finally closed it out.
Published Apr 02, 2023
Petra Kvitova knew going into the Miami Open final that playing a tie-break against Elena Rybakina would be a danger zone—the Kazakh was 7-0 in breakers this year.
“Yeah, so before our final, I read yesterday that Elena didn’t lose a tie-break yet this season,” Kvitova said. “So, you know, I had a break up—I was like, ‘Okay, good, I’m going to serve it out.’ And boom, it was a tie-break. I was like, ‘Oh, very nice. What are you going to do now?’
“But I was telling myself that she has to lose at some point one tie-break this season. So I was going to try.”
And she ended up having to go to the ends of the Earth to win it, 16-14, saying afterwards, “I think it was the longest one I ever played in my life.”
Over the course of 22 nail-biting minutes, the two players watched a combined total of nine set points come and go before Kvitova closed it out:
~ Kvitova set point #1, 6-5: Rybakina hits an ace.
~ Rybakina set point #1, 7-6: Rybakina hits a forehand long.
~ Kvitova set point #2, 8-7: Rybakina hits a forehand winner.
~ Rybakina set point #2, 9-8: Kvitova hits a forehand winner.
~ Kvitova set point #3, 10-9: Kvitova hits a forehand into the net.
~ Rybakina set point #3, 11-10: Rybakina hits a backhand into the net.
~ Rybakina set point #4, 12-11: Rybakina hits a backhand long.
~ Rybakina set point #5, 13-12: Kvitova hits a forehand winner.
~ Kvitova set point #4, 14-13: Rybakina hits an unreturnable forehand.
~ Kvitova set point #5, 15-14: Rybakina hits a forehand into the net.
“It was like one mini-break and then other one and we just kept going on the serves—I mean, I totally lost the control of who is serving, who is not, when we are changing the sides and so on,” Kvitova said.
“I was a little bit passive in the tie-break in the end, I think, and that’s why I had to tell myself to go a little bit forward for it to take it—as me, as Petra—playing aggresive to take it and not to wait for the missing, which she didn’t miss.
“It was really the hardest tie-break I’ve played, probably.”
The Czech never fell behind again en route to a 7-6 (14), 6-2 victory.