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Last Updated Sunday May 27 2018 10:57 PM IST

Australian Open: Petkovic packs off Kvitova

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Petra Kvitova Petra Kvitova squandered a couple of match points to go down to Andrea Petkovic. File photo: AFP

Melbourne: Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova's return to the Australian Open a year after being attacked by an intruder at her home ended in disappointment with a marathon 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 first-round loss to German Andrea Petkovic on Tuesday.

A former quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park, Kvitova missed last year's event as she recovered from surgery to her left hand which was injured by a knife-wielding assailant weeks before the tournament.

Kvitova showed she was back to a level approaching her dominant best with a last-eight appearance at the US Open, but her clash with former top-10 player Petkovic ended in heartbreak after she double-faulted on match point when serving at 5-4 in the third set on Show Court Two.

Petkovic saved another match point with a forehand winner to level at 5-5 and fought back from another break down.

Serving to stay in the contest, 27th seed Kvitova suffered an attack of nerves, missing a straightforward volley before surrendering the match with her 10th double-fault and sixth of the set.

The crowd groaned in disappointment, while Petkovic roared in triumph and Czech Kvitova walked off to warm applause in the twilight.

"I just thought about not thinking and it worked," Petkovic said of holding on during the nervous finish.

Read also: More Tennis NewsVirat Kohli fined for showing dissent

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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