Kvitova reaches first final since attack

The two-time former Wimbledon champion was leading 6-1 1-0 when her opponent Lucie Safarova, who had had two huge matches in the previous three days, pulled out with a thigh strain.

"I don't know what to say, it was such an incredible fight between the both of us and I'm so happy I won!"

The Czech is showing no ill effects in her racket hand as she struck the ball comfortably and moved about the court with regular forays into the net. I am happy that I am able to show good tennis here.

Petra Kvitova says she is "enjoying playing again" after reaching the final of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

Top seed Roger Federer reached the Halle Open semifinals on Friday, beating defending champion Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-4 and edging closer to a ninth title at the Wimbledon tune-up event.

"I couldn't have imagined to have a better comeback than I am having now. I was very pleased after my [second round] match against [Naomi] Osaka that it was an hour and 10 minutes".

"It's unbelievable how she's coming back, and after what happened, how quickly she was able to return to play competition", said Safarova.

"The hand is good which is the best news I could have, and I am not feeling any pain - and that's the best news", she repeated. There's going to be a lot of pressure on Barty to take her game to another level, and I'm not sure she's capable of that just yet because we haven't quite seen it.

"It's fantastic to have (Petra) back on the court", Barty said about facing Kvitova. With the momentum on her side, Ashleigh opened up a 5-1 lead in the final set with breaks in games 3 and 5, moving just a game away from the triumph.

She won her opening service game to love, took 14 of the first 15 points, and kept the rallies ultra-short by striking winners freely, especially with her hard-to-read flat-hit forehand.

Muguruza, a former Wimbledon finalist, could not contain Barty's comeback.

"I didn't really get a look in on her serve in the first set and once I knew I was in with a shot it was a little bit of a different story", said Barty. The Spaniard managed to fight off both and forced Barty to serve for the match up 5-2. "She's one of the nicest girls you'll ever meet, not just in the tennis world. That's how I think it will be tomorrow as well". Muguruza has won four of her last five matches on grass court. "So it's going to be a good battle for me".