Petra Kvitova played solid, nerve-free tennis to take her first career Major title at Wimbledon on Saturday. She beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in the final, matching Maria ground stroke for ground stroke and holding a striking advantage with that big left serve of hers. As opportunistic and brave as Masha’s been throughout the tournament, it was only a matter of time until a player ripped open the gaps in her service games. It’s amazing that Maria made it as far as she did. But she was a classy runner up and I think this result will keep her hungry and improving. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s just 24 years old and not so near the sunset years of a pro tennis career.
I’m not sure if Sasha can make it through another Major though – he looked near tears by the end.
Speaking of tears, Petra was a bit, uh, stoic in victory – her muted celebration after hitting an ace on match point was more appropriate for Brisbane or Madrid than Wimbledon’s Centre Court. We had to turn to her father’s trembling face for visible proof of what this title really means to her.
“It will be some days and maybe I will believe (I won it).“ A wide-eyed Petra told Mary Carillo after the match, looking like a shy girl who just wanted to get out of the limelight and into the locker room as quickly as possible.
But I’m not complaining. It was her internal calm and ability to treat the match like any other that allowed her to play such good tennis in the big moment. She can have her emotional freak out in the privacy of her own home sometime next week.
Her countrywoman, Martina Navratilova, attempted to put Kvitova’s rise into some kind of context. Via the NYTimes:
“I think we’re seeing the new players taking charge,” Navratilova said before the final. “Most of all, they’re playing to win. That’s what I like to see. They’re not scared out there. They’re playing forceful tennis.”
I’m not so sure if Kvitova is representative of much more than, well, Kvitova.
Congratulations to the Bryan Brothers for winning their second career Wimbledon title today with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(2) win over the team of Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau. The brothers, who already hold the record for most doubles titles, have now equaled the Open Era record set by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde’s of 11 Major titles.
The Bros speak (via the ATP)
“This is as special as it gets,” said Mike Bryan. “I always thought we’d play our best at Wimbledon, and we’ve lost three heartbreaking finals. To get on that board again, to have two Wimbledon titles, is really special. And then to equal the Woodies, a team that we idolised, the greatest team in our mind, is unbelievable. We’d love to try to get to 12 and do that at the US Open.”
Bob Bryan added, “It’s an honour. We just got to let it seep in a little bit. Every slam we give a hundred per cent. We’re happy with what we’ve done. We’re not content or satisfied. But we have smiles on our faces when we walk by our trophy case in the morning. How this career has gone has been a storybook for us.“
In a big day for Czech tennis, Kvitova’s countrywoman, Kveta Peschke, paired with Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik to win the women’s doubles title in straights over the hard serving team of Sabine Lisicki and Sam Stosur. Sabine and Sam had to finish up their darkness-delayed semi earlier in the day.