Petra Kvitova underlined her credentials with a thumping victory over ‘new kid on the block’ Eugenie Bouchard in the women’s singles final at Wimbledon. The match was expected to be a close-run contest, with the big-hitting Kvitova recapturing the form she showed in her title-winning run at The All England Club three years ago, while the 20 year-old Bouchard had reached at least the semi-final stage in three successive Grand Slams.
Much of Bouchard’s success in the earlier rounds had been in taking time away from her opponents by returning serve from inside the baseline. However, she was not able to exercise such control against Kvitova’s unpredictable lefty serve, while the Czech’s big hitting and variation of shot off both wings caused all sorts of problems for her youthful opponent. Her aggressive approach paid off in the third game, when she secured her first break of serve with a huge forehand. Kvitova continued to generate devastating angles on her groundstrokes and she relentlessly pressured her opponent’s second serve to take charge of the rallies. Bouchard did manage to break back, but Kvitova was undeterred and responded in kind to wrap up the set.
Bouchard came unstuck against Kvitova. Image: The Guardian
Kvitova has admitted that following her maiden triumph in SW19, she struggled to deal with the tag of ‘Grand Slam winner’ and all the attention that came with it, meaning results and performances suffered. However, the appointment of a sports psychologist seems to have given her renewed belief, and this was clear as the match wore on. The second set was more of an exhibition, as the 2011 champion showed off her full array of shots to an awe-struck crowd, despite Bouchard hitting a few winners of her own. Kvitova clinched victory with a stunning backhand cross-court winner, sending her to fourth in the world rankings and confirming her place among the elite of the women’s game.
Featured image: The Telegraph