Kvitova overwhelms Bouchard to claim her second Wimbledon title
LONDON -- No. 6 Petra Kvitova routed No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 in just 55 minutes to win her second Wimbledon title on Saturday. The Czech champion saved her best tennis of the tournament for the final, unleashing powerful and nearly untouchable strokes on the grass courts and losing the fewest number of games in a Wimbledon final since Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles in 1992.
"I can't say it's more special [than in 2011] but after three years to be back here with the trophy is so special," Kvitova said. "I have to say thanks to everyone who supports me all the time, it is a special time for me. Hopefully it will be good for everyone in the Czech Republic to have a second trophy. It is my second title so I hope it will be a little bit easier for me to handle."
Kvitova, who hit 28 winners to 12 unforced errors, earned an early break in the first set and never looked back. The 24-year-old broke Bouchard's serve six times with her heavy returning, and showed off her improved defense as well, battling through rallies to keep the pressure on the Canadian. Kvitova, who's never lost a set in Grand Slam finals, improves her major finals record to 2-0.
Bouchard, in her first Grand Slam final, was completely outplayed in the 54-minute match. The 20-year-old played as well as she could -- she hit just four unforced errors in the match -- but had no answer for the Czech's firepower.
"It was just amazing," Lindsay Davenport said to the BBC. "You always dream as a player to play your best tennis on the biggest stage and that was a thing of beauty. You can't even blame Bouchard because she didn't play badly but she just didn't get the chance to play because Kvitova didn't allow her to. I don't think anyone would have been able to play her today. Bouchard tried everything but Kvitova didn't miss anything."
Game by game analysis of Kvitova's dominant performance below.
10:07 a.m. ET | Petra Kvitova defeats Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 to win her second Wimbledon title.
It's over. And it was incredible. Kvitova breaks Bouchard to seal the match. She does it with a clean backhand winner and seals her first major title in three years in just 54 minutes.
28 winners, 12 unforced errors for Kvitova. So much of this match was dependent on her serve and she had a phenomenal serving day, serving at 68 percent and winning 82 percent of her first serve points. How good was Kvitova today? Bouchard hit just four unforced errors in the entire match. Kvitova was given nothing and she still ran away with it.
I can't remember seeing a better performance in a Wimbledon final than that. Bouchard didn't even play badly - Kvitova unstoppable today — Simon Cambers (@scambers73) July 5, 2014
It's performances like that makes you wait and wait and wait ..sometimes 3 years to see one like it again. — Ataraxis (@Ataraxis00) July 5, 2014
10:02 a.m. ET | Kvitova breaks again, leads 5-0*.
Bouchard is continuing to stay inside the baseline, and Kvitova is continuing to hit winners right past her. Bouchard's body language isn't negative -- it's hopeless. You can't defend against the type of shot-making day Kvitova is having. I still think she should try and be more of a defender to try and force some errors out of the Czech.
Kvitova breaks Bouchard from 40-15 down, and then consolidates the insurance break at love. To be clear, Bouchard isn't playing poorly. Kvitova is simply not letting her play at all.
9:56 a.m. ET | Kvitova breaks, leads 3-0*.
Kvitova earns the early break again and consolidates. Bouchard has no answers. I'm interested to see whether she makes any tactical adjustments in this set. One option may be dropping back from her hyper-aggressive court position on or inside the baseline, which would give herself more time to deal with Kvitova's pace. The Czech is beating with pure pace at the moment. Bouchard can't get her racket through the ball quickly enough. Adopting a more defensive style and forcing Kvitova to hit a few more balls might be a good move because what she's doing now is playing right into the former champion's hands.
9:43 a.m. ET | Petra Kvitova wins the first set 6-3.
Kvitova is known to give up a bad game especially when closing, but Bouchard breaks and all credit to the Canadian. She returned well in that game and went for her shots. But she's still struggling to hold her serve. She falls behind 0-40 and Kvitova breaks on her third break point of the game with a big forehand return. Bouchard hasn't been able to spin the ball away from that Kvitova forehand on serve and she pays the price again.
9:38 a.m. ET | Kvitova breaks, leads *5-2.
Kvitova holds with ease. What's been so remarkable about her start is that she's still hitting the smart shot and with margin when it's called for. We're used to Kvitova's homerun swings (and strikeouts). But she's finally figured out how and when to add more lift to her shots to open up the court. That makes her life much easier.
"For most of this tournament we've watched Bouchard dictate play," says Lindsay Davenport on BBC. "Not reacting. That's what she's been doing through six games today. Reacting."
Bouchard has indeed been rendered a spectator. Kvitova is just hitting right through her. The Czech earns another break, taking the game easily at 15. It's been just 27 minutes and Kvitova is serving for the match.
"This is the best tennis you'll ever see on this court," says John McEnroe.
9:30 a.m. ET | Bouchard holds, leads *3-2.
Kvitova trying to consolidate the break and she builds a 40-15 lead. Then the Czech double-faults, and Bouchard gets to deuce with a fantastic backhand return down the line and into the corner. Bouchard's coach Nick Saviano is a lefty and you know he's been trying to prepare Bouchard for that swinging lefty serve. She is doing well to plant her foot in the doubles alley, cut off the angle, and redirect the pace back.
Kvitova never lets Bouchard earn a break point. Good serving and then holds on what could go down as the point of the tournament for the women given the stakes. Bouchard gets her on the run from side to side and the Czech plays side to side defense until she hits an incredible running backhand pass that she pulls from just off her toes to yank sharply cross court for the winner. That? Was good.
If Kvitova wins this match, just run that point on loop for her highlight reel. Heck, do it if she loses too. — Chris Chase (@chaztopher) July 5, 2014
This is all running away from Bouchard quickly. She falls behind 0-30 and two points later she double-faults to give up two break points. She saves them both -- three in the game total -- and holds. That's a big hold for Bouchard. Kvitova let her off the hook there.
9:19 a.m. ET | Kvitova breaks, leads *2-1.
First test of Bouchard's nerves in her first Slam final and she passes with flying colors. Kvitova gets two good hits on the ball but the Canadian holds at 30 with a smart body serve. Best not to let Kvitova lean into her shots, though if you miss that serve it will be in the middle of the box and easy to hit.
So much of the quality of this match is dependent on Kvitova. The general consensus in the press room here in London is that Kvitova has been more relaxed this year than she has in her last 10 majors. The spotlight has not been on the former champion and even today, where she is the favorite, all the attention is on the Canadian upstart. No signs of nerves for Kvitova. She holds at 15 and she's hitting big.
Petra Kvitova just unloading on the ball early. Bouchard's style--so close to the line--giving her little time to react to Kvitova's power. — Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) July 5, 2014
Chance for Kvitova in Bouchard's second service game. She's seeing the Bouchard serve well. She hits a great backhand winner to earn her first break point of the match. Bouchard saves it, but again Kvitova tees off on a Bouchard wide serve to earn a second break point and she converts on a huge forehand winner. She is hitting so well to start this match.
Of course the match in very , very early stages but the calibre of hitting isn't something Bouchard has seen before this tourney. — Ravi Ubha (@raviubha) July 5, 2014
9:08 a.m. ET | Warm up
The women are on court warming up and yes, Princess Eugenie -- Bouchard's namesake -- is in the Royal Box. Also in the box are Martina Navratilova, Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova -- all Czech champions here to see if Kvitova can do it again.
It's overcast in London, but the rain that kicked off the morning has gone. Marija Cicak is the chair umpire, and I have to say that she's done everything to deserve her first Slam final.
Bouchard will serve first.
No. 6 seed Petra Kvitova squares off with No. 13 seed Eugenie Bouchard in the Wimbledon women's final on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. ESPN will televise the match live.
This is Kvitova's second Wimbledon final -- she won the title back in 2011 -- but she hasn't returned to a Grand Slam final since then. However the Czech has remained in or around the top ten in the WTA rankings
On the other hand, this is Bouchard's first Grand Slam final, but she's already come close twice this season, advancing to the semifinals of both the Australian Open and the French Open in just her second full year on the WTA tour. To top it off, she won the juniors title at Wimbledon in 2012.
Bouchard's making history with this match, as she's the first Canadian to ever reach a Grand Slam final. She'll also make her WTA top-ten debut, rising to No. 7 on Monday (No. 6 if she wins), making her the highest-ranked Canadian ever in the WTA rankings. Kvitova will jump up to No. 4, whether she wins or loses on Saturday.
The two have played each other just once, on the hard courts in Toronto last year; Kvitova won 6-3, 6-2, but the match lasted almost 90 minutes. Watch highlights from that match, starting at the 4:20 mark below:
The clash between these two young stars marks the first time that two players born in the '90s will meet in a Grand Slam final.