Kvitova wins her first North American title

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By Sean Farrell, special to EmiratesUSOpenSeries.
 
MONTREAL - Petra Kvitova and Li Na were hopping on a plane together Monday night whatever the outcome of their Rogers Cup final.
 
One of the two Grand Slam winners was going to have her first North American WTA title as well as her first tournament win of 2012 from Montreal.
 
When the two hour, 17 minute match was done, it was fifth-seeded Kvitova who came out on top for a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over the 10th-seeded Li at Uniprix Stadium.
 
Tournament organizers had a private jet waiting for Kvitova and Li at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. They were to fly out to Cincinnati after the final to take part in the Western and Southern Open.
 
"It's great," said Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion. "Yeah, I finally won a title this year. I'm so glad that it can be here in Montreal. I think that it was a really good final, big fight from both sides. I think that she played really well."
 
It was the 22-year-old Czech's first final since October, when she won the WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul. Kvitova has claimed victory in six of eight WTA tournament finals.
 
Li has lost each of the three finals she has reached this year, including the Sydney International to Victoria Azarenka in January and the Italian Open to Maria Sharapova in May. 
 
Despite the loss, Li was pleased with her overall performance as players made the adjustment from the grass courts of the Olympics, played at Wimbledon, to the hardcourts leading up to the US Open.
 
"I think we have a very good start," said Li, whose last win was the 2011 French Open.
 
There were empty seats in the upper level of Uniprix Stadium for Monday night's final. Bad weather and the second week of the Olympics coverage on television had a negative impact on attendance throughout the week.
 
Over 151,000 spectators took in the Montreal Rogers Cup, down from some 172,000 when the women's tournament was last staged here two years earlier. The Montreal women's tournament record of 174,000 was set in the 2008.
 
Despite the rain that played havoc with Thursday and Friday's schedules, all of the quarterfinals were completed by Saturday evening.
 
Sunday's schedule, including both semifinals and the doubles final, was completed with only one interruption. Kvitova's three-set win over 2010 champion Caroline Wosniacki in the second semifinal was delayed for 45 minutes right after the second set by a sudden rain storm that ended almost as quickly as it began. 
 
Hometown favorite Aleksandra Wozniak became the first Canadian women to reach the tournament's quarterfinals in 20 years. The 24-year-old native of Blainville, Quebec beat New Jersey's Christina McHale 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the third-round before losing to Wosniacki in the quarters. Toronto's Patricia Hy-Boulais lost to Monica Seles in the 1992 quarterfinals in Montreal.
 
Eugenie Bouchard was another Canadian wildcard who made a fine showing. The Wimbledon junior singles and doubles champion beat 56th-ranked Shahar Peer of Israel in the first round 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Facing 10th seed Li in the second round, the 18-year-old from Westmount, Quebec lost 6-4, 6-4.
 
Bouchard and fellow Canadian Filip Peliwo of Vancouver, who won the junior singles title at Wimbledon, were presented plaques commemorating their Grand Slam wins prior to the final.
 
 

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