Mladenovic's serve at 5-6 looked good enough to win the point and draw her level again, with Kvitova's return appearing about to slide wide.
She had made her return at the French Open earlier this month and reached the second round, but that was mostly to get the fuss out of the way so that she could concentrate on her favourite part of the season.
But on Friday was Kvitova's turn to receive the applause, as she revealed that many parts of her incisive grass court game are in working order and that many things may still be possible despite enduring problems with the injured hand.
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Some wearing Islamic robes, others in street clothes, they left their cars as traffic overflowed and walked more than a mile to reach her mosque.
Barty won the Wimbledon junior singles in 2011 as a 15-year-old. "I could not have imagined a better comeback than I am having now".
Her last final on grass was her triumph at Wimbledon three years ago against Eugenie Bouchard and while her talk on arrival at Edgbaston was purely about her delight to be playing again, she clearly has bigger goals now. But she remained reluctant to agree that she was now one of the players who could win Wimbledon. The rout briefly halted when Safarova held her serve.
When she served for the match at 6-4, 5-3, Kvitova delivered two double faults, dropped her service game and lost her momentum.
"It's hard to say anything but I think I've been through a very difficult time in my life, and it wasn't about the tennis, but about coming back healthy and alive and moving my fingers properly and everything like that", Kvitova said. "So this is quite a dream".
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On Friday, a spokesman of the North's Foreign Ministry issued a statement denying that Warmbier had been abused or tortured. He said: "I am a believer in dialogue, but I also know that dialogue is possible when we have a strong national defence".
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.
Kvitova has been playing well throughout this tournament, and she was doing so again Saturday, putting up a 6-1, 1-0 lead on Lucie Safarova before Safarova retired with a leg injury.
Muguruza called for her coach, sought to swing the ball around, and eventually just tried to scrap as best she could.
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. "I like slicing it around on the grass, and I didn't do much wrong".
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Shocked residents were ordered to leave their homes for up to three weeks while "urgent fire safety works" were carried out. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said testing of potentially combustible cladding "is running around the clock".