Kvitova bulldozes Maria for first Slam
Originally published on: 02/09/11 13:35
Playing in front of fellow Czech-born Wimbledon titlists Jana Novotna and Martina Navratilova, Petra Kvitova bulldozed Maria Sharapova to join her elite predecessors on the All England Club honour roll.
In a remarkably assured performance filled with brutish groundstrokes and thumping serves, the 21-year-old used every inch of her 6ft frame to fire past the Russian and become the first Czech to hold the Venus Rosewater dish since Novotna in 1998.
“I cried after I met them,” the Fulnek resident later admitted after Novotna and Navratilova had personally passed on their congratulations.
Inevitably, the final wasn’t without a nervous start. Sharapova was seeking her first Grand Slam title since winning the Australian Open in 2008, while Kvitova was featuring in her first ever major final, building on her semi-final run at Wimbledon in 2010.
Kvitova settled the faster though, pulling up a 4-2 advantage when the Russian double faulted at 30-40 in the sixth game. Sharapova’s strife on serve proved to be a constant theme and she had to fight hard to hold for 3-5, before Kvitova served out the opening set in 40 minutes.
The world No.8 broke immediately in the second, and though Sharapova – featuring in the Wimbledon showpiece for the first time since winning the title as a 17-year-old in 2004 – hit straight back, Kvitova continued
to blast the heavy returns to force a 5-3 lead.
Sensing she was just a game from winning the prestigious title, Kvitova didn’t earn a point on Sharapova’s next service game but made serving out look easy, quickly building a 40-0 lead before sealing the title with a thumping ace – her 36th of the tournament – straight down the ‘T’.
“She played a terrific match,” praised Sharapova. “She was hitting really powerful and hitting winners from all over the court