(Reuters) - Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova stormed back into the world’s top 10 for the first time since being stabbed just over two years ago when she beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the Qatar Open final on Sunday for her second title of the season.
Coming into the tournament 21st in the WTA rankings, the Czech won 3-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes to add to her triumph in St Petersburg earlier this month.
Kvitova was in trouble as she trailed 5-0 in the first set with fourth seed Muguruza looking to snap the Czech’s winning streak at 12 matches.
But former world number two Kvitova dug deep to take the contest into a decider and ground out the victory.
Asked how she managed to turn the contest around, Kvitova said: “I have no idea. I just tried... It was a really tough match, a big fight and hopefully the people enjoyed it.”
Kvitova was forced to take a break from tennis after being attacked by a knife-wielding intruder at her home in 2016.
She returned to action after surgery on her playing hand last year but fell short of the top 10, ending the season 11th.
“It feels great (to be in the top 10),” Kvitova said. “I mean, first of all, I think that it feels much better right now because top 10 is the number. Of course, it’s such a great achievement to be back there.
“I couldn’t really dream about it one year ago when I was in (a) total different position trying to come back and play. And for me, it’s something that’s amazing.
“I couldn’t really wish for more. I played great tennis, St Petersburg and here as well. So that means a lot to me.”
Kvitova’s return to form will put her back in contention for majors this season.
“That’s why I came back, to try to have great results in the grand slams and the big tournaments,” she said.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar and Martyn Herman Editing by Ken Ferris and Christian Radnedge