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Kvitova edges Li for first title of 2012

updated 6:44 AM EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
Former world No. 2 Petra Kvitova won the first grand slam title of her career at Wimbledon last year.
Former world No. 2 Petra Kvitova won the first grand slam title of her career at Wimbledon last year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Petra Kvitova beats Li Na to win the Rogers Cup in Montreal
  • The win in Montreal secures Kvitova her first WTA Tour title of 2012
  • Reaching the final guarantees China's Li Na a return to the top 10 of the world rankings
  • Li has now lost three finals in 2012, having also suffered defeats in Sydney and Rome

(CNN) -- Former world No. 2 Petra Kvitova secured her first WTA Tour title of 2012 by defeating former French Open champion Li Na in Monday's final of the Rogers Cup.

Key to the Czech Republic's 7-5 2-6 6-3 victory was her decisive break of serve in the final set to condemn her Chinese opponent to a third final loss of the year -- following Li's reverses in Sydney and Rome.

It was Kvitova's first appearance in a final this season and the win meant she won a Tour event for the first time since the season-ending championships in Istanbul last October.

"The first set was a really big fight -- every game was very close," world No. 5 Kvitova told the WTA Tour's official website.

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"Maybe I was a little bit lucky to win the first set. She played very well in the second set. She was very aggressive without any mistakes."

Kvitova's triumph in Montreal was all the more impressive considering the 22-year-old suffers from asthma, which usually adversely affects her performances in North America due to the summer humidity.

"I have asthma so I have trouble breathing sometimes, but it wasn't too humid here this week," she explained after reaching her first final on the continent.

"It's only a problem in North America, unfortunately, because here it's more humid than Europe or Australia, where it's very hot but not that humid. Humidity is the main problem for me.

"But it's great to know I can play well here and it's great I finally won a title this year. I'm so glad it could be here at the Rogers Cup in Montreal."

Desite the loss, Li showed glimpses of the form which made her China's first grand slam singles champion at Roland Garros last year.

At the start of the second set Li, who has returned to the top 10 of the world rankings of the back of her performances in Canada, won 16 points in a row.

"I really have to say she played very well today. I think we both played a very good match," Li said of her opponent.

"I'm very happy because this was the first hard-court tournament after the Olympics, and my new coach is going to come to Cincinnati, so I think this is a very good start to this season for me."

Li recently started working with Justine Henin's former coach Carlos Rodriguez.

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