MELBOURNE: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was sent packing from the Australian Open on Wednesday after a 6-4 1-6 6-1 second-round defeat by Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
Kvitova jumped out to a 2-0 lead but could not keep a lid on her errors as Cirstea converted each of her three breakpoint opportunities to claim the opening set.
Kvitova, who finished runner-up at Melbourne Park two years ago, showed glimpses of her powerful ball-striking as she raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set before levelling the match when Cirstea handed her a third break with a tame double fault.
Cirstea, however, turned the tables on the Czech in the final set and claimed victory on her third match point with Kvitova hitting a forehand long.
"I was one of the few in hard quarantine. I think it's impressive to come out of 15 days without hitting a ball and competing the way I did today, I wasn't expecting it," said Cirstea, who will next face Czech Marketa Vondrousova.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)