In-form Kvitova defends Birmingham title

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Petra Kvitova will be well fancied to add to her two Wimbledon titles after successfully defending her Birmingham Classic crown on Sunday.

Kvitova's preparations for the grass-court grand slam could have taken a blow after Magdalena Rybarikova claimed the opening set of the final, but the Czech came charging back to win 4-6 6-1 6-2.

The world number eight now leads the WTA in wins (37) and titles (five) this year, but she was initially troubled by Rybarikova, who threatened an upset after taking the first set.

Kvitova recovered her poise, though, and can continue to build towards Wimbledon full of confidence after another successful week.

There was little sign early on of the procession this would become for Kvitova, as the pair traded breaks before she lost another and then struggled to make up ground in the first set.

An opportunity belatedly arrived, but Kvitova could not take it and Rybarikova sealed the opener when she forced her opponent into the net later in the same game.

But the Slovakian was no match for Kvitova from that point onwards. The fourth seed consistently punishing Rybarikova with her returns to soar into a 3-0 second-set lead.

A double fault from Rybarikova led to another break and her continual errors ensured the match was swiftly levelled.

The theme continued into the start of the third and the match was all but over after a second break as Rybarikova sent the ball long, allowing Kvitova to cruise through the closing stages.

Eastbourne is up next for Kvitova, although she appeared less than enthused by Sunday's plans in Birmingham.

"I'm not sure how we will celebrate," she said. "I think we'll go for dinner and the guys will watch football tonight - like every other night!"