September 28, 2016 / 3:43 PM / in a year

World number one Kerber knocked out by Kvitova in Wuhan

(Reuters) - Angelique Kerber suffered her first defeat as world number one when Petra Kvitova beat her 6-7(10) 7-5 6-4 in a marathon third- round match at the Wuhan Open in China on Wednesday.

Tennis - Wuhan Open Women's Singles second round - Wuhan, Hubei Province, China - 27/9/16. Angelique Kerber of Germany is seen playing against Kristina Mladenovic of France. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA.

German top seed Kerber saved three set points before a forehand error from Czech Kvitova handed the U.S. Open champion a tense first-set tiebreak.

But Kvitova, showing the battling qualities that have brought her two Wimbledon titles, fought back to force a decider.

Kvitova, seeded 14th, broke Kerber early in the third set to lead 4-2 and despite struggling with cramp, she held her nerve to convert her seventh match point after three hours and 20 minutes on court.

“At the end I think there is no loser. I did everything today. I was fighting until the end,” Kerber told reporters.

Kvitova will face Britain’s Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals.

Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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