Fed Cup teammates Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova fought for the chance to enter the US Open on a winning note.
Lucie Safarova made a significant breakthrough in 2014 when she reached her first career Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon. That momentum continued through the rest of the year and the first half of 2015: In the first two majors of the year, she came away with two doubles titles and a singles runner-up finish at the French Open. The Roland Garros run propelled her to the Top 10 in both singles and doubles.
As the tour made the transition to hard courts, she reached the quarterfinals in Cincinnati. It was at the Connecticut Open, though, that she found herself playing for a title once again. Seeded fourth, she only dropped one set on her way to the final.
Waiting for her was a player who practically owned the courts in New Haven.
Petra Kvitova had reached the final for the fourth consecutive year, and was the defending champion. The two-time Wimbledon champion had been battling mononucleosis for months, which contributed to some inconsistency. Still, she only dropped one set on her way to the championship match.
In the first set, no ground was given between the Czech Fed Cup teammates, with the two staying on serve until they found themselves in a tiebreak. Reflecting the course of the match at that point, the two were knotted at six apiece in the breaker until Safarova took two points in a row to clinch the first set.
In the second set, the first two games went to the server until Kvitova broke for a 2-1 lead. From there, Kvitova picked up her level of play and only dropped one more game to take the second set, 6-2, and push the match into a decider.
Safarova halted Kvitova’s charge in the beginning of the third set—but only temporarily. She won the first game, but Kvitova stormed back to take the next three. After dropping one more game, Kvitova closed out the match by going on another three-game run to take the decider 6-2, making her the Connecticut Open champion for the third time in four years.
That was the last time Safarova reached three singles finals in a season. She reached finals on all three surfaces that year, winning in Estoril on clay and Forest Hills on hard courts for her first two singles titles.
In her three title-winning runs in Connecticut, Kvitova only dropped two sets, with both of those coming in 2015—in the second round to Madison Keys and the final against Safarova.
Kvitova’s captured one tournament title in North America outside of the Connecticut tournament, the Rogers Cup in 2012.