In just an hour Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova will meet for the 2011 Wimbledon title. Both players were among the favorites at the start of the fortnight to arrive in the title bout and they haven’t disappointed.
Serena and Venus Williams were both done in by their lack of match play and sharpness.
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki still doesn’t have the offensive game necessary to win a Slam, especially one on a fast surface like grass.
And No. 2 Vera Zvonareva felt the pressure of her first Slam runner-up point defense.
Sharapova knows all about pressure the Russian appears poised to start a new chapter in her career. Sharapova underwent serious right shoulder surgery in October of 2008, and there was legitimate concern if the blonde beauty would ever return to prominence. But here she is, just two sets from a fourth Grand Slam title, second after seven years at Wimbledon.
“I just feel a sense of evolvement,” Sharapova said. “You know, this year I feel like I’ve grown as a player and I’ve gotten better. It gives me a lot of confidence moving forward… but it doesn’t stop here. That I’ve reached this level, I’m just so happy and so proud. But I always feel like there’s more to improve and things to get better.”
Kvitova grew up idolizing tennis great Martina Navratilova, and now she has a chance to follow in her footsteps and become the first lefty to raise the Wimbledon plate since Navratoliva did in 1990. With Martina Navratilova watching, Kvitova could become the next big tennis star.
The Czech proved that last year’s semifinal was no fluke, easily ripping through the first four rounds before outslugging Tsvetana Pironkova and on Thursday the noisy Victoria Azarenka.
“Of course I have something to lose on Saturday,” Kvitova said. “Of course, I’m going on the court for the win. I mean, I will have to play my best, for sure. Play for 100% and then I can win. It’s good for Maria that she has the experience from 2004, but still this will be a different match, different opponent. It will be me, so we will see.”
Sharapova has won their only meeting the Kvitova, at 2010 Memphis. Kvitova is much different player but so too is Sharapova.
NBC will air the final live on U.S. television.
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