Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic, a former Wimbledon champion, has won her first WTA Championships title on Sunday by defeating Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the finals of the Istanbul Open in Turkey to put her second in world rankings. Kvitova took a 5-0 lead in the first, however, fell down a bit to 5-5 with Azarenka fighting back early in the match. Kvitova was able to hang on and take the first 7-5 after converting her fifth set point. Azarenka played a consistent back court game in the second and was able to level the match at a set a piece. In the final set Kvitova was able to come back and take the set 6-3 and the title.
"It's unbelievable to play here," said Kvitova. She has won six titles in 2011 which is the same number as world number one Caroline Wozniacki. "I didn't expect that I would be sitting here as a champion. It's really a big step for me."
"It's hard to lose, but I'm glad I lost to such a champion. I gave it all today," said Azarenka in the awards ceremony interview. Kvitova captured $1.75 million in prize money, whereas Azarenka claimed $775,000.
There were 13,700 in attendance at the finals in Istanbul, which was the culmination of a weeklong tournament for the top eight players. Azarenka will now fly to Belarus to take a three-week vacation prior to her next tournament.