As dark clouds threatened the final day of play for the women’s singles, it was left to the shy former champion to steal the day again as Petra Kvitova thundered past Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.
From the start there was a sense that we could see one of the most competitive finals for a while here at SW19, and with the first two holds looking very solid, we settled in for the show. The first advantage though went to the former champion, who broke Bouchard before the first change of ends, and from then, it was a battle for the Canadian, who fought long and hard in her next service game not to go down a break.
Even when the relentless pressure from Kvitova saw her break again, Bouchard’s responsible was to break straight back as the Czech tried to serve out for the first set. But Kvitova needed no second invitation, as she took the first set.
From there the momentum firmly stayed with the Czech and Bouchard was not overwhelmed but just outplayed as Bouchard failed to get a game on the board.
After the match, Kvitova admitted she could not have planned a more perfect match.
“I knew that I could play well on the grass, but I really played so well today. I exactly know what I have to play to beat her. I just did really everything what I could in the moment. I was very focused for every point. I knew that I have to go forward for every shot what I’m playing to push her.”
“I think Bouchard definitely play great tournament here. I mean, she reach final as a very young girl. I know that she can be very dangerous. I did what David told me, that I have to really go for every shot, to not really give her time for her game.
“Definitely she’s talented player. I think she going to be better and better if she still will work hard.”
Bouchard had been so confident of her abilities and expressed no surprise at all that she would, or even should be challenging for a Slam but had to admit that Kvitova had the edge.
“I felt like I started well, and, you know, was in there. But, you know, I didn’t feel like I was able to play my game. She really took the chances away from me and was really putting a lot of pressure on me. I didn’t have that many opportunities.”
For Bouchard it is some well earned dessert, and time off before she gets back to work and heads to Montreal to play there.
For Kvitova, perhaps a nicer celebration after wishing her father a happy birthday in her emotional conversation with Sue Barker at the Trophy ceremony.
“My dad is very emotional. I have something from him, as well. It’s my dad. He has a birthday tomorrow, so I’m just glad that he has a nice present.”