Sharapova, Kvitova Clash in Women’s Wimbledon Final
by Staff | July 2nd, 2011, 8:38 am

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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45 Comments for Sharapova, Kvitova Clash in Women’s Wimbledon Final

Ike Says:

let’s go Petra!

Ike Says:

the way Kvitova broke back was impressive!

Ike Says:

good hold from Kvitova!

Ike Says:

right from the start of the match I noticed that Kvitova doesn’t grunt / shriek, one more reason to root for Kvitova!
I hate Maria’s grunts / shrieks!
Eventually, tennis authorities will have to do something about these grunts / shrieks!
It’s damn annoying!!!

Ike Says:

good to see that Kvitova not showing any nervousness on the court, i think she is playing real good.

Ike Says:

consecutive doubles from Maria.
too much pressure?

Ike Says:

good hold from Kvitova, let’s break Maria’s serve and get the first set!

Ike Says:

great set from Petra!
let’s keep it up, and win it in straight sets!

jane Says:

It is looking good for Petra right now. Breaks right away to start the second.

Ike Says:

good hold from Petra, despite of those two double faults.

Ike Says:

hey Jane! good morning!
I hope you are not rooting for Maria.
Btw, thanks for the “BjornLovesJohn” underwear link the other day LOL!

jane Says:

Fiesty break back by Sharpie, who really is a great returner. Fiancee on his feet, lol. Both firey.

jane Says:

Ike, hi yourself. I don’t care who wins. I thought I would be for Sharpie but I have taken to Petra’s game over the course of Wimbledon. She is awesome, so natural and powerful. She is going to rule, only 21 too. But I have always admired Maria’s compete level.

jane Says:

Petra killing Maria’s second serve.

Ike Says:

Petra’s ground strokes are almost fearless! way to go Petra, just please stop double faulting!

Ike Says:

agree Petra is killing Maria’s second serve. Maria has own only 20% on her second serve.

jane Says:

Three breaks in a row. Gotta love Sharapova’s man; he is an enthusiastic supporter.

Daniel Says:

Sharapova has to go after Kvitova’s BH. He keeps go to the forehand and getting spanked.

jane Says:

Make that four breaks. Kvitova has the upper hand though. Feels like Sharapova may be living on borrowed time right now, but that is Maria. She fights tooth and nail until the end.

Ike Says:

good to see Condy (Dr.Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State) in the audience.

jane Says:

Petra to serve for her first slam championship. This is hers provided she doesn’t get tight. Given the amount of breaks this set, it is difficult to say what will happen.

jane Says:

A Champion is born! Congrats to Kvitova!! There will be more for her.

Great run for Sharapova too.

Kimmi Says:

WOOOOOO! just came back and watch the last game only..OMG, that is how you serve for the match.

Very happy for petra. Yes jane, the champion is born.

Very happy for her.

Grendel – you were right about the talent for this girl. Should have picked her for my bracket, :))))))))

Ike Says:

great win Petra, congrats!!!
I don’t see any reason to root against Petra.
She doesn’t grunt / shriek (except that “bark” AFTER the point is over).
She has great ground strokes.
She has great positive attitude, hits lot more winners.
She can improve her serve and backhand, (and maybe lose 5-10 lbs to improve movement on the court), and she should be able to dominate women’s tennis for next few years!

Kimmi Says:

She is so reserved. kind of shy a little.

where is the jump to the stand for the new champion? daddy crying, could not believe it.

Ike Says:


you could see that’s happening but it’s “inside”, she/they are not showing it. These are people from small town, I think they don’t like to show off.

Ike Says:

even though Petra seems reserved / shy, i think he she has “likable” personality, you can’t hate her.

Kimberly Says:

boo hoo. not what i was hoping for. still a big improvement from last year. Maybe she can keep improving. Not much hope for tomorrow considering Nadal has lost to Novak four times in a row but maybe five times a charm?

Ike Says:

looking forward to tomorrow’s men’s final!
Hoping for a great match!

Humble Rafa Says:

Congratulations to Kvitova. She is good!

Humble Rafa Says:

Note to Radek Stepanek..

New young girl is in town. She is from CZE. Just keeping you informed, old man. That’s all.

jane Says:

Not sure where to put this but an interesting article on WTA’s new ad campaign, re: beauty, strength, and selling tennis:,8599,2081209,00.html

WTF Says:

Well done Petra! I’m so happy for her. I’ve been a big fan of hers since Australia.

What a brilliant way to serve out a championship. I totally expected to see tense legs and arms and a break of serve. It should have been the tightest and most difficult service hold of her entire career, but she held it to love and finished with an ace to boot. That’s how you do it.

I just hope she isn’t going to go away now and leave the WTA field “wide open” again like it always is at every slam.

Dan Martin Says:

Good new blood into the champions circle. Maria is back as a consistent 2nd week slam player and a new champion in added. Li Na lost to an eventual semifinalist so maybe Paris and London have produced some indication of where the women’s game is heading in the next 18-24 months.

grendel Says:

Yes, Kimmi, terrific win. You know Sharapova is sometimes called the Nadal of womens’ tennis – by Johnny Mac for instance, and with a certain justice. She never gives up, comes close to turning the tables when you thought it was all over – and is very, very time consuming in between serves.

She’s nowhere near as talented as Kvitova. Kvitova is like her in hitting hard to the base line, but in this match she was hitting her groundies 10 mph faster. But then, Kvitova has much more variety. She’s fairly handy at the net – for a big woman, she does do a good kneebend – and has a lovely bh slice (which the Sharp surprisingly doesn’t have) which disturbed Sharpie’s timing more than once.

Anyway, to get back to this Nadal thing. Twice – twice! – and pretty close to each other, Kvitova had drawn a very weak return from Sharapova, leaving the whole court open for the Czech to do more or less as she pleased. On both occasions, she pasted the living hell out of the ball (quite unecessarily) – and unbelievably put it out. The first one led to her being broken. Shades of Murray yesterday, but whereas Murray fell apart in the next game, Kvitova calmly broke back. THAT’s champion’s mentality. Murray doesn’t have it, Ike, not yet anyway. He is dogged and I don’t deny he might inch as it were,step by step, into champion mould. But Kvitova is gloriously there now.

I’m damn sure Kvitova took a lot off her serve. Kind of disappointing, but it sure paid off. This was a more considered performance than those against Pironkova and Azarenka. What a great returner she is. Sharapova went through a patch where she wasn’t missing with that first serve, but Kvitova consistently hit it hard and deep. I doubt if Sharapova has ever been treated quite like this before, except by Serena of course.

She’s only 21, and she’s going to evolve. What next? Can’t wait.

grendel Says:

Well, that’s the female version of the Nadal model satisfactorily disposed of. Any chance of tomorrow providing a double whammy?

Kimmi Says:

Just finished watching the match. it was actually a tough match from both. There was few breaks exchanged..lots of duece games especially in the second set.

Glad petra was able to stay composed. good too that she did not have those second set wobbles that she is been having with other player.

She is right that this is her best match, playing a quality opponent. final match nerves? what nerves!!

cant wait to see how she get evolved. Read for a dominant number one again.

WTF Says:

What is the Nadal model exactly? Because to me, Nadal is just the Hewitt model 2.0 sans injuries (or at least ones serious enough to require frequent surgery).

What Nadal can do is turn defense into offense by getting to the ball quickly enough to give him time to set up the winner. Sharapova is not fast enough to do that. Neither is Kvitova. I saw a some desperate defensive scrambling from Kvitova to reach a Sharapova winner as Sharapova dictated the rallies. She got her racket on the ball but was forced into error. In my mind I felt she wasn’t quick enough. If it was Nadal, he would have got to the ball and hit a winner with it. He did this a few times against Murray. He was forced into defending for what seemed like 10 strokes, and then turning defense into a winner with a single shot.

Federer can do that too (at least he could when he was in his prime). You need to be able to do that if you want to be a multi slam winner.

What I do like is that Kvitova did not win because her opponent collapsed. She took it to her and won it on her terms. She had a steadier serve and hit harder. She pressured Sharapova’s serve just by being an imposing leftie ready to pounce, and drew some tense second serves. She’s not the quickest player I’ve ever seen though, and I think she could trim a few pounds off.

WTF Says:

“Glad petra was able to stay composed. good too that she did not have those second set wobbles that she is been having with other player.

She is right that this is her best match, playing a quality opponent. final match nerves? what nerves!!”

Yeah tell me about it. She played great in Australia in getting to the QFs, and then against Zvonereva her nerves were clearly on display. She played nowhere near the level as we’d seen from her leading in. She’s banished that demon and dare I say it, she’ll be ready for more big occasions. She made it look easier holding her nerve in a first time slam final than it really ought to be. So did Sharapova I guess.

I should take a moment to acknowledge that even though I don’t like Maria’s shrieking, she is all class off the court and when being interviewed. She’s always been a gracious loser, and doesn’t let disappointment show.

WTF Says:

Petra’s first and only ace came on Championship
Point. What a time to serve one!

I expected at least one double fault in that service game, and probably a second on match point. She handled it like a champ though, and I can’t wait to see more of her.

Wheeler Says:

Good thing that shrieking bitch who only serves double faults and gives everyone “looks-could-have-killed look” lost.

grendel Says:

“What is the Nadal model exactly?” Joke, of course. Certainly not the tennis. Basically,going along with J-Mac, the mind. Not to mention the endless pratting around before serving.

“She’s always been a gracious loser, and doesn’t let disappointment show.” This is a matter of opinion, of course. But my view of Sharapova is that she is a consummate PR merchant. She knows perfectly well that it is important she comes across as the gracious loser – important, as a business woman, for her image. I don’t believe for one moment she is naturally “gracious” and I greatly admire her ability to dissimulate, as I see it. Not that it’s virtuous, of course. But it shows an extraordinary mental strength of a kind, even if it is a disagreeable kind.

I think Maria Sharapova is an extremely tough cookie who will let nothing get in the way of self-promotion. Incidentally in this, just to be clear, she is quite different from Nadal, who comes across as a nice enough chap.

Super Says:

Ah, Kvitova, you’ve won your first GS!

There are plenty more to come, I think, as her game is unstoppable at full force. She reminds me of Nicole Vaidisova-both of them are Czech, both of them tall women, and both of them have a deadly combination of grace and power.

I also see that they are both temperamental in their own ways. What makes Kvitova a champ, is that she is able to get by her quirks and poor games quite quickly. She may play a poor game, but will quickly bounce back into fine form. Vaidisova, unfortunately, tended to go away for the entire match when she got tense. I still remember her almost beating Venus at her prime!

Remembering her potential and talent, I was saddened that she decided to quit tennis for good. The only other player I’ve missed seeing so much was Dokic.

I am glad that Petra has reached her potential; to me it makes women’s tennis much more interesting!

Also Grendel, thank you for clarifying about the deleted posts in the other thread. I also get the same impression about Sharapova as you do. Perhaps we could write a tennis book titled “Tennis Psychology: how to maximize winning by annoying your opponents, and how to attract more sponsors by appearing gracious!”

(The above wasn’t meant to be a particular attack on Sharapova).

WTF Says:

Nicole Vaidisova was a waste of talent. Had such a promising career as a teenager, stumbled on a few stones along the way and then gave up, hanging them up at 20. Maybe because she got the attention of Radek Stepanek, who surely must have been watching this final with great interest.

I think Kvitova’s mentality is going to be better than Nicole’s. I just hope she stays away from that career destroying womanizer.

scoreboard66 Says:

I think the womanizer is now out of the playing around field, so no chance of him destroying Kvitova’s career. He won his prize in Vaidisova, a much younger woman, which means the chase is over, well, we hope.

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