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July 2, 2011

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Wimbledon 2011, London, England, UK
July 2, 2011
Editorial by Jane Voigt.


Jane Voigt Photo
Jane Voigt

Powerful Petra Wins Wimbledon
July 2, 2011 -- Petra Kvitova wasn't favored to win her first Wimbledon on her first try. A few, though, stretched their necks and endorsed the left-handed Czech. She proved them right, too, winning her first major title in her first Grand Slam final appearance. She defeated the most tenacious of opponents: Maria Sharapova.
Kvitova became the first woman from the Czech Republic to win Wimbledon since Jana Novotna in 1998. Kvitova's deepest inspiration, though, has come from Martina Navratilova, another Czech and lefty. After Kvitova's lap of honor around Centre Court, she threw a kiss to Martina who watched the match from the Royal Box.
"It's very nice they are watching me and supporting me all the time, all the tournaments," Kvitova said about Navratilova and Novotna.
Although Kvitova's reaction to her historic win -- 63 64 -- took some moments to realize, her emotions rose to the surface as she spoke with the BBC's Sue Barker in her traditional on-court post-match interview.
"Hard to find some words," Kvitova said, her eyes filling with tears. "I'm so happy that I won."
Sharapova, on the other hand, let her deepest disappointment be known, "I would've wanted that big one. But I'll be back."
As Kvitova stood for photographers they had to gesture to her to hoist the Venus Rosewater Platter high over her head. The trophy was made in 1864 of sterling silver. Kvitova's name will be added to it, but she will take home a smaller replica.
Unlike her reserved demeanor after her victory, Kvitova's comfort level in the final came without any hesitation as the match got underway. What grand slam final ... this is just another match. She was proving herself immediately as a champion.
She courageously exchanged groundstrokes with Maria, drilling the ball deep and flat down the center of the court. Petra didn't want to give Maria any angles to tee off on. As soon as Maria hit a short ball, Petra stepped in and went for her shots. She hit them off both sides, favoring neither and leaving Sharapova with little court space to work with.
Kvitova's left-handed serve proved to be her most formidable weapon of the match. She jammed Sharapova numerous times with well-placed slice serves.
"She goes for her shots and they're very flat," Sharapova said to the press. "She created offensive opportunities from tough positions. Sometimes just too good."
Although the match was an intriguing one, with a former teen-age champion looking to repeat and a new face seeking her first claim to tennis fame, it wasn't without mishaps. In the first 16 games of the match, there were eight breaks of serve -- not a clean showing from either woman.
Sharapova's Achilles heel reared its ugly head in the sixth game of the first set. She lost that game on her second double fault of the match, giving Kvitova the one break she needed for the set.
"It's too tough to time, waiting for that ball to fall," John McEnroe mentioned, as he called the match for the BBC.
Kvitova won the first set at love and with an ace. She won the championship at love with an ace, too, just like Jo-Wilfred Tsonga won his quarterfinal match against Roger Federer: at love and with an ace.
The only signs of nerves came in the second set. Kvitova sent two sitting forehands wide to lose the sixth game. The errors could have reminded fans of the unfortunate forehand Andy Murray missed is his semi yesterday against eventual winner Rafael Nadal. Murray's error stuck in his mind far too long, practically ruining the rest of the match for the Scot.
However, Kvitova got right back on track. She tucked away her mistakes and broke in the next game. She shrugged off the miscalculations and stayed with the points at hand. Tough dealings for a first-timer, but an overwhelmingly positive characteristic of a tennis champion.
Petra Kvitova hadn't won any matches on grass before she stepped on the lawns of the All England Court last year ranked #62 in the world. She had lost in the first rounds of 2008 and 2009. The next year, she made the semifinal and now is the women's singles champion of 2011 Wimbledon.
"Last year I was young and I didn't feel like I could beat her [Serena], but this year I thought that I can," Kvitova told the press. "Surprised wasn't nervous ... Knew I could return serve. Azarenka prepared me for hard hitting." Kvitova defeated Azarenka in the semifinals.
Petra Kvitova is the third left-handed player to win The Championships Wimbledon. Before her came Ann Jones in 1969 and then Kvitova's idol, Martina Navratilova. She who won 9 titles on Centre Court: 1978 and 1979, six consecutive years between 1982 -- 1987, and then once again in 1990.
Left-hander Bob Bryan and his complimenting right-handed brother Mike Bryan won the Wimbledon Doubles Champions today -- 63 64 76(2) -- against the Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau.
Their path to their second Wimbledon crown was littered with teams eager to stop the twins, including last year's titleholders Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner. However, their longest and toughest match was against the unseeded team of Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley. It took two days and five sets: 63 46 67(5) 63 16-14.
This is the Bryan's 11th Grand Slam doubles title, which ties them with the Woodies: Australia's Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge.
Number one seed and lefty Rafael Nadal could win his 11th Grand Slam title tomorrow, if he sees his way past the hot Novak Djokovic.
But that's tomorrow.
How will today's ladies champion, Petra Kvitova, fill her time before the Champions Ball on Sunday?
She'll be planning hair and makeup. However, she won't be dancing. "I can't dance," she admitted.


Earlier Columns from this Event:
July 1, 2011 Wimbledon: Djokovic and Nadal into Finals
June 30, 2011 Wimbledon: Kvitova and Sharapova In Final
June 29, 2011 Wimbledon: 178 and 1
June 28, 2011 Wimbledon: The Women
June 27, 2011 Wimbledon: Mixed Bag
June 26, 2011 Wimbledon: The Queue
June 25, 2011 Wimbledon: Wimbledon So Far
June 24, 2011 Wimbledon: Raining Seeds at Wimbledon
June 23, 2011 Wimbledon: Coming Back
June 22, 2011 Wimbledon: Behind The Scenes
June 21, 2011 Wimbledon: Touched
June 20, 2011 Wimbledon: Tradition

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