WUHAN, China - Sixty-three minutes was all it took for Petra Kvitova to end her 13-month title drought, overpowering Dominika Cibulkova, 6-1, 6-1 to win the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.
Kvitova produced the latest in a series of brilliant performances in Wuhan, piercing Cibulkova's defenses at will to romp home, 6-1, 6-1, and recapture the trophy she also won in 2014.
"Wuhan, it's really one of my favorite cities. It was a great crowd all well, there were some incredible matches for me and I'm really happy that I can stand here as a champion again," Kvitova said.
In the opening game, Kvitova set out her stall, firing down a sequence of perfectly placed deliveries to hold serve with barely a minute on the clock. She would finish with nine aces, but the rest of her game was equally impressive. In the next game, a brilliant stretching backhand pass helped her to a break to love.
The Czech would end up winning 17 of the first 18 points. And when Cibulkova did momentarily halt her progress with a break in the fifth game, it merely delayed the inevitable, Kvitova dusting herself down to wrap up the set.
The second set was just as one-sided, as Cibulkova, appearing in just the second Premier 5 final of her career, battled in vain to avoid a rout.
While neither Cibulkova nor semifinal opponent Simona Halep were able to compete with an on-song Kvitova, the path back to the trophy was far from straightforward. In the third round, the Czech came up against new World No.1 Angelique Kerber in a match that went well beyond the three-hour mark and will go down as one of the best in recent memory on tour.
"This match was pretty long! It was a great fight by both of us - even though I felt down physically, I was really ready mentally for every battle that followed that one."
Kvitova will now turn her attention to the year's final Premier Mandatory tournament, the China Open, where another good run could push her into contention for the season ending BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.