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Kvitova vs Kontaveit WTA Stuttgart live streaming, preview and tips - Will WTA's record unique champion streak come to an end in Stuttgart?

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 28 Apr 2019
  • Petra Kvitova vs Anett Kontaveit is live from Stuttgart at 4.00pm local time on Sunday (3.00pm BST)
  • Kvitova leads their head-to-head 3-2, but Kontaveit does own a win on clay and won their last clash in Brisbane to start 2019
Petra Kvitova (PA Images)

Petra Kvitova looks to become the first woman to win multiple titles in 2019 when she takes on Anett Kontaveit in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final in Stuttgart on Sunday.

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One of the most bizarre stats on the WTA Tour could come to an end on Sunday as Petra Kvitova and Anett Kontaveit clash in the Premier-level Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final in Stuttgart. Incredibly, there have been 18 different WTA champions in 18 events this season, making it the longest streak of unique champions in WTA history. Kvitova, who took home the Sydney title to start the season, has the chance to end it on Sunday, but if Kontaveit can emerge triumphant, the streak will continue. It adds another element to what is already an intriguing final in Stuttgart.

Kvitova notched up a tour-leading 23rd win of the season in Saturday’s semi-finals when she defeated Kiki Bertens in three sets. It was an extremely tight contest over the first two sets as both players used their powerful groundstrokes to outmuscle each other from the baseline, but after dropping the second, Kvitova bounce back superbly in the decider, winning six of the last seven games to register a 7-6(3) 3-6 6-1 victory and advance into her fourth final of the year.

“I think I had a really great two weeks of preparation on clay,” Kvitova said after the win. “You know me, I always need matches to get used to the clay.”

It was Kvitova’s second straight three-set win after also needing to go the distance against Anastasija Sevastova, while she opened her Stuttgart campaign with a clean 6-1 6-4 dispatch of Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen. Kvitova had previously made the semi-finals in Stuttgart on two occasions, in 2012 and 2016, while she was also a quarter-finalist in 2013 and lost in the opening round last year after running into Angelique Kerber.

After losing at the first hurdle in Stuttgart last year, Kvitova went on one of her trademark devastating runs, winning 13 matches in a row as she picked up two consecutive WTA titles in her native Prague and the Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrid Open, where she defeated Kontaveit along the way. However, Kvitova couldn’t extend that winning momentum when it mattered most, going down in the third round of the French Open to - you guessed it - Kontaveit. Unfortunately, Kvitova stumbled at all of the slams last year, but she made up for lost time to kick off 2019, putting together another big winning streak as she secured the Sydney title and advanced to the final of the Australian Open, where she narrowly fell to Naomi Osaka.

The Czech would rise to No. 2 in the world on the back of that result and is set to rise back to that mark after reaching the final in Stuttgart, while Kvitova was also a runner-up in Dubai to Belinda Bencic this year before once again struggling to find her best tennis during the Sunshine Swing in Indian Wells and Miami. Can Kvitova become the first multiple-time champion on the WTA Tour on Sunday?

It’s been a rather fortuitous week for Kontaveit in Stuttgart - she benefitted from a retirement by Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals and then advanced to the final when World No. 1 Naomi Osaka withdrew from their semi-final clash due to an abdominal injury. However, while she’s no doubt been a bit lucky, Kontaveit has always played very well in Stuttgart, making at least the quarter-finals in her three previous visits, beating Garbine Muguruza to reach the last eight in 2017, while she upstaged Angelique Kerber to advance to the semi-finals last year, so there’s every chance the Estonian would have made it to the final in any case.

Starting the 2017 season outside the world’s top 120, Kontaveit put together a rapid rise into the top 30 by the end of that season, winning her first WTA title on the grass of s-Hertogenbosch, finishing runner-up in Bien and Gstaad and making the third rounds of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The 23-year-old continued to improve in 2018, reaching the fourth rounds of the Australian Open and Roland Garros, the semi-finals of Stuttgart and Rome and the third round of Wimbledon before going on to advance into her first Premier-5 final in Wuhan towards the end of the season, conquering Sloane Stephens along the way. Kontaveit would go on to break into the top 20 for the first time after ending her season with a quarter-final in Moscow, and the Estonian has improved that mark to a career-high ranking of No. 14 in 2019 (currently ranked No. 15), making the quarter-finals of Brisbane, the fourth round of Indian Wells and the semi-finals of Miami, where she went down to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty. Kontaveit will return to No. 14 if she can beat Kvitova and extend the WTA streak of unique champions to 19 on Sunday.

This will be the sixth meeting between the pair, with Kvitova leading 3-2. However, Kontaveit did beat the Czech on clay at the French Open, take a set off her in Madrid and won their last clash on the hardcourts of Brisbane to start the season, so the Estonian knows she has what it takes to emerge triumphant on Sunday. That being said, I’m leaning on the side of Kvitova. She has an excellent record in finals, even though she’s lost her last two, and the clay in Stuttgart suits her game. Kontaveit has had some luck to make the final, but I think her run comes to an end at the hands of the soon-to-be World No. 2.

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Kvitova vs Kontaveit WTA Stuttgart live streaming, preview and tips - Will WTA's record unique champion streak come to an end in Stuttgart?

Petra Kvitova looks to become the first woman to win multiple titles in 2019 when she takes on Anett Kontaveit in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final in Stuttgart on Sunday.

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