HIGHLIGHTS: Keys dispatches Rybakina

It's no surprise that Petra Kvitova has a reputation as one of the most popular players on the WTA Tour—she's praising her opponent as she enters the semifinals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The 32-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion from the Czech Republic hasn't had such a deep run at a 1000 event or bigger in a while and has dropped to No.28 in the rankings, though she did win Eastbourne this season. But she's got a lot of confidence from this week, which as included a win against No.2 Ons Jabeur.

“I can still be able to play with the best, even beating them. I don't remember when I beat last top 10,” said Kvitova, who was ranked No. 2 in 2011.

“So that was really something very special.”


Kvitova is two wins away from lifting her 30th tour-level crown.

Kvitova is two wins away from lifting her 30th tour-level crown.

Next, she plays fellow huge-hitter Madison Keys in the semifinals, but that doesn't stop her from raving about her game. The pair have split their meetings with four wins each, including a clash in the first round of Cincinnati last year.

“I think this is much, much better to play in the semis," said Kvitova. "I think she's really on fire. I love how Madison is playing. I think that she is, like game playing, one of the best."

Kvitova added that Keys, a finalist at the 2017 US Open, has more than power, including while serving.

"She has a lot of variety. She can go for [an] ace, she can have a kick, she has beautiful technique,” Kvitova said, smiling. “Not like me, I don't have nothing, I'm just boom-boom.”

“She is a big hitter, but even from the forehand, she can go a little bit different style sometimes, that she can put it a little bit upper with more topspin.

"She can hit it. She can go up. She is really playing very beautiful. It's nice to see her in the semis, for sure. It will be nice battle."