Serena Williams, the warrior queen of SW19, blasts champion Petra Kvitova out

Champion Kvitova goes down fighting but has no answer to Williams' power


What do you get when you combine 120mph serves, velvet drop shots and skirts? A woman almost impossible to beat on grass. The outgoing champion Petra Kvitova was the latest to stand in the Serena Williams coconut shy and wither. She described her Centre Court experience yesterday as "big difficult". We knew what she meant.

The effort and will required to contest a Williams service game inevitably heaps pressure on one's own. Perhaps now that her title is gone, Kvitova will understand better what she had. Her year as Wimbledon champion has been a learning experience. She is the only member of the women's top-10 not to win a title this year, which suggests that she is still coming to terms with all that being a champion means. "I'm sorry to leave in the chorus line but I have something to build on," Kvitova said.

Williams is two victories from a fifth Wimbledon crown and 14 Grand Slams. There is nothing about the experience that is new to her. And at 30 years old, there is no obvious sign of a diminution of her athletic attributes. You have no trouble believing her when she says that she does not walk in fear when the mob closes in for that picture or autograph. My money would be on Williams were the melee ever to turn ugly. This is not to question her femininity, only to pay tribute to her impressive physicality and spirit. She is the embodiment of Wimbledon's warrior queen, a woman to follow into the fire.

Kvitova was smoked 6-3, 7-5. She left nothing on the court. Every ounce of her competitive fibre was deployed in this quarter-final. And on the odd occasion when Williams dropped the percentages, Kvitova climbed into the ball with a fearsome intensity. But in the second week of a major tournament, when her eye is in, her technique is sound and her focus sharp, Williams is just too good.

The baseline scramble with Kvitova dominating game point at 3-3 on serve in the second set was quintessential Williams; falling over, getting up, contriving a shot of sorts, sprinting to get her racket on the incoming missile. Williams lost the point and the game, but the effort expanded by Kvitova to win it cost her any chance of contesting the next. In the blink of an eye the ball was back in Kvitova's hand and so the cycle repeated.

Kvitova had to wait an hour before fashioning a break point. It co-incided with set point. Williams blasted her response to the affront. Deuce. Two points later it was 'game Ms Williams', the final point decided in part by a shot rifled straight at Kvitova. The Czech got a racket on it but served only to scoop the ball up for a Williams winner.

At least Kvitova had dragged herself into the fight. Too late, of course. Williams broke in the next game, the 11th of the second set, and fired three more aces at Kvitova to close out the match. She wasn't even out of breath. "I had nothing to lose. I am enjoying every minute of this, having the time of my life. My goal is to win two more matches in this tournament." Williams said.

"It wasn't about dethroning the champion but playing well. You can't play a defending champ without raising your game. You have to weed out the riff raff and get serious. I talked with my dad and Serena about it, and took to heart what everyone said." Williams will play Australian Open champion and second seed Victoria Azarenka, who ended Eastbourne champion Tamira Paszek's nine match-winning streak in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6.

Angelique Kerber triumphed over Sabine Lisicki in a thrilling German derby. After her victory over No 1 seed Maria Sharapova, Lisicki appeared hungover in the opening set and was required to save three match points in the second to stay in the tournament. Lisicki served for the match at 5-3 in the third but could not convert and on her fifth match point Kerber, playing for the first time on Centre Court, made it home 6-3, 6-7, 7-5.

Kerber will meet Agnieszka Radwanska, who eventually accounted for Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 on Centre Court nine hours after the rain-affected match began on Court One.

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower