Battling Petra Kvitova hits peak form to retain her Birmingham Classic crown

Kvitova lines up Buzarnescu meeting in Birmingham semis

Nature Valley Classic: Petra Kvitova beats Julia Goerges to reach semi-finals

Like Kvitova, Rybarikova has a fine grass-court pedigree having reached last year's Wimbledon semi-finals, and it showed in the opener as she seized the advantage. We know each other so long.

"We're good friends [Magdalena and I], so it'll be a fun final. She's a really great player and she's the favorite of this match".

The world No. 19, who also won the title in Birmingham in 2009, had to fight back from going down a break in both sets, but came out on top to set up a mouth-watering conclusion to the week tomorrow.

However, Rybarikova broke straight back and from that point looked like the momentum was firmly back on her side, breaking again for a spot in her second Birmingham final.

The 28-year-old is yet to drop a set this week, and today's win was her 51st career victory on grass. But I'm fit and that's what is really making me happy, that I can nearly play every week and enjoy it because I had so many years that I didn't play. We practised one day here a day before the tournament, but a match is a match.

"It took me a while from the beginning of the match to get used to a lefty serve and forehand and backhand", Kvitova said. Hopefully she is not going to be on fire.

"Yeah, I think she's pretty confident right now". "Magdalena put me under pressure with her (service) returns".

The two-time Wimbledon champion said that she has surprised even herself this week.

"You have to play tricky in these conditions, and I did that, although I admit in that last game I was very nervous".

That, however, was on clay - and on grass right now Kvitova looks better than anyone. Standing at 182cm, the left hander is able to generate plenty of speed on her serve, as well as from her groundstrokes.

"When she's on fire, you can go shake her hand and say, 'Okay, I just want to leave from here.' She plays absolutely wonderful". I beat her quite easy.

The Nature Valley Classic final between Kvitova and Rybarikova is scheduled on the Ann Jones Centre Court, at 1:30pm.

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