Petra Kvitova required all her firepower to subdue Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez as she overcame a terrible start to win 7-5 6-3 and reach the French Open fourth round on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Czech struck 32 winners and needed every one of them to halt her young opponent’s dream debut.
Kvitova was caught cold on a clammy Court Suzanne Lenglen as she trailed 5-1 in the opening set against last year’s French Open junior champion who played beautifully early on.
Kvitova had to save a set point at 1-5 and another at 3-5 before her power game really began to have an impact.
She won nine games in a row to take charge but the 5ft 4ins Fernandez, the youngest player left in the draw, never looked flustered as she continued asking questions of her fellow left-hander with clever shot-making.
Fernandez recovered one break of serve in the second set and, with Kvitova showing signs of anxiety, had two more break points to level the set at 4-4 but Kvitova held firm to move 5-3 ahead with a superbly-angled volley.
There was a fair amount of relief in Kvitova’s expression as she hammered a winner for victory, offering some warm words to her opponent at the net.
Twice Wimbledon champion Kvitova has reached the fourth round in Paris for the fifth time and will be starting to fancy her chances with China’s unseeded Shuai Zhang up next.
Djokovic Edges Closer To Grand Slam Record With Spot In Last Eight
Hamilton Hails ‘Mega Job’ By Mercedes, Focused On Next Year
Verstappen Wins In Spain To Continue Red Bull Sweep
Benzema Leaves Real Madrid After 14 Years At Club
Milan Say Ibrahimovic Will Not Extend Contract
Tongue Takes Five Wickets As England Crush Ireland
Ten Hag’s United “Broken” After FA Cup Final Loss To Manchester City
Jabeur Upset With Fans Reselling Tickets Due To Women’s Match In Night Session
Mbappe Targets Ligue 1 Scoring Record With PSG Next Season
Swiatek No Fan Of ‘Iga’s Bakery’ Memes After Serving Up Another Double Bagel
Messi To Leave PSG At End Of Season After Two Years At The Club
Man City Edge Closer To Treble After FA Cup Final Win Over Manchester United