Defending champion Petra Kvitova races into Birmingham final
Petra Kvitova v Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-2

Defending champion Petra Kvitova races into Birmingham final

Defending champion Petra Kvitova dispatched Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3 6-2 with a powerful display to reach the final at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham on Saturday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is yet to drop a set this week as she continues her preparations for next month's grasscourt Grand Slam.

The result was Kvitova's 51st career victory on the surface, and she overtakes top-ranked Simona Halep with a tour-leading 36 match wins this year.

"Amazing statistics this week," Kvitova said. "I didn't expect that from the beginning of the season. I didn't really start well in Australia.

"So far this season is incredible, and I really can't imagine a better season so far."

Up next for Kvitova is 2009 winner Magdalena Rybarikova, who returns to the final with an impressive 7-6(1) 6-4 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova.

The 29-year-old Slovakian came back from a break down in each set on the back of 24 winners over the course of one hour and 47 minutes.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match, because she's such a tricky player and she's amazingly talented," Rybarikova, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, said on-court after the match.

"Maybe she was even favoured because she beat me before, and I think it was a very good match and we had some fun."

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