Petra Kvitova: The New Wimbledon Champion
Petra Kviotva, seeded eighth at this year’s Wimbledon Championships, outgunned the tournament favourite and 2004 Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 25 minutes to clinch her first Grand Slam trophy at the green lawns of SW19. She is the first southpaw to lift the coveted trophy since Martina Navratilova 21 years ago.
Kvitova, at 21, emerged as the first Czech player to win at Wimbledon since Jana Novotna in 1998 and the youngest to win a Slam since Ana Ivanovic in Roland Garros, 2008. It was a perfect blend of power, laser-like precision and patience that earned the young Kvitova a place among the Grand Slam champions.
Sharapova, being a three time Slam winner, was the overwhelming favourite entering the match. But the Czech preferred the driver’s seat from the very beginning, out-powering the Russian in almost all departments, without a slight sign of nerves that was expected from the 21-year old young ace in her first Grand Slam final.
Sharapova chose to receive after winning the toss and her decision paid off as she broke the Czech’s first service game. But that could barely shake the Grand Slam final debutant on the other side of the net. She broke right back with some huge ground-strokes, by virtue of which, she was in the final. In the sixth game, two double faults in a row gifted the Czech another break of serve to lead 5-2. She comfortably served out the set. This was the first set Sharapova dropped in the tournament.
Sharapova fought, as she usually does. But everything went in vain against the measured stroke-play of the Czech coupled with her huge left-handed serves and a sliced backhand that regularly tormented the Russian. With Sharapova struggling to hold her own service games, the third break for Kvitova came as soon as the first game of the second set. After watching her opponent taking six games in succession, the Russian finally clawed her way back into the match to level it at 2-all. A few wobbles here and there, before Kvitova finally upped the ante to seal a decisive break and led 4-3 in the second set. Kviotva brought the curtains down on Sharapova with style hitting her lone ace of the match on her first match point.
“You’re seeing a really, really special talent,” John McEnroe reckoned. Rightly said, it might not be the last time she raises the Venus Rosenwater plate above her head. A new champion is born.
”It’s hard to find the words,” Kvitova said. ”To see the great players in the royal box. I’m so happy that I won.
”Of course I was nervous. But I had to focus on each point and what is important.”