By Iain Rogers
MADRID (Reuters) - Petra Kvitova swept to a second Madrid Open title and put her recent struggles behind her when she thumped an ailing Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-2 in a hopelessly one-sided final on Saturday.
Champion on the clay at the premier event in 2011, the Czech fourth seed's powerful ground strokes were far too much to handle for the unseeded Kuznetsova, a former world number two who was hampered by a thigh problem.
Kuznetsova took a medical timeout after losing the opening set and returned to the court with strapping on her left thigh before Kvitova, who dispatched world number one Serena Williams in the last four, finished her off in a little over an hour.
"It was an amazing week for me and I am really happy to win for a second time on this beautiful court," Kvitova told fans at the futuristic Magic Box arena.
"I know that Svetlana wasn’t ready properly and I don’t think she is feeling very well so I wish her good luck," added the 25-year-old from Bilovec.
Kvitova appears to be getting back to her best again a few weeks before the French Open begins in Paris at the end of this month.
The double Wimbledon champion pulled out of this year's Indian Wells and Miami events due to exhaustion and suffered a second-round exit on indoor clay in Stuttgart last month.
Saturday's success took her career title haul to 16 and she will retain her place at number four in the WTA rankings when they are updated on Monday, while Kuznetsova will return to the top 20.
"I am very sorry I couldn’t play a good level of tennis today for you to enjoy but I hope to return next year and play even better," Kuznetsova, speaking in fluent Spanish, told spectators.
(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)