Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat Lucie Safarova in the Aegon Classic semifinals on Saturday in Birmingham, England, to reach the first final since her playing hand was injured in a knife attack at her home.
During her pre-match press conference, Kvitova said her hand is not causing her any pain at the moment and that is the best news for her at the moment.
Barty was ranked at 271 at the start of the year.
The left-hander, who has dropped to 16th in the world rankings, served an ace to clinch her 20th tour title.
It was Safarova's second success against a seed this week, her victory over the ninth-seeded Australian following another in the first round against the third-seeded Slovakian, Dominika Cibulkova, when Safarova saved two match points.
She then decided to make her return to the tennis court 12 months ago at the 50k ITF tournament in Eastbourne where she managed to reach the semi-finals.
Kvitova took the opening set 6-1 against Safarova and was leading 1-0 in the second after breaking serve when the world number 41 could not continue because of a troubling thigh strain in her right leg, which had been heavily strapped.
"I know what it feels like to retire", the sixth-seeded Muguruza said during her on-court interview after getting the 4-6, 6-4, retired win.
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That was all she could do, despite having a 4-0 lead in game 5 that could send her in front. On Friday, American Coco Vandeweghe retired with an ankle injury in her quarter-final against Muguruza.
Australia's Ashleigh Barty has lost to Petra Kvitova in the final of the WTA tournament in Birmingham, one of the key warm-up events for Wimbledon. "It was just about one or two points and one or two breaks", said Kvitova.
"It was very close, but I played better than I did before".
ASHLEIGH Barty will ride a huge wave of confidence on Sunday night (AEST) when she attempts to land her second clean sweep of an increasingly memorable comeback.
Kvitova next plays fellow Czech and friend since childhood, Safarova, who had her own drama, saving match points for the second time this week. I had a few opportunities but she was serving well.
The momentum seemed to shift all on Kvitova's side in the latest part of the match.
"But I'm feeling confident, we've had a lot of grasscourt tennis now coming into Wimbledon, so hopefully we can play well tomorrow and transfer that through Eastbourne, and of course, Wimbledon". "I like slicing it around on the grass, and I didn't do much wrong".
The tournament's other Grand Slam victor, Muguruza, reached the semifinals for only her third time this year and the first on grass since reaching the final of Wimbledon almost two years ago.