Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon 2014 files: Eugenie Bouchard’s so cool heading into the unknown, but finals can do funny things to people and Petra Kvitova has experience and power...


There has been no one at Wimbledon this year who has appeared cooler than Eugenie Bouchard. She has matched even Roger Federer for looking absolutely in control of what is happening out there. Even when she faced a barrage of break points in her quarter-final against a pumped-up Angelique Kerber, there was not a flicker from Bouchard. This is one collected 20-year-old.

But this afternoon is going to be a whole new ball game for the young woman from Montreal. This is a Grand Slam final, the Wimbledon final, out there on Centre Court, with the world watching on.

I tell you guys, she has never experienced anything like this before. Can she keep her cool when the pressure is turned up as high as it can go in this sport, turned up to the max, man? The true champion can, and the true champion has to.

We saw what happened to Sabine Lisicki last year when the occasion got to her and the title went to Marion Bartoli. Now remember that Petra Kvitova, as well as being a damned good player, has been here before. She had to go through what Bouchard will this afternoon three years ago with a former champion on the other side of the net.

I guess what Kvitova managed to do against Maria Sharapova in 2011 can act as a lesson for Bouchard for this afternoon. Kvitova conquered the occasion as well as her opponent. Straight sets, bang, bang.


Can Bouchard do that against the Czech? That is going to be the first key to this contest, but there is more than one door to unlock to get to that trophy.

All the signs are that Bouchard has the nerve to go out there and play her usual game, have those blinkers on, play the points not the scoreboard or the occasion, and go for it as she likes to do. But finals can do funny things to people.

Kvitova is only four years older but that is half a lifetime in tennis terms, so it makes this a bit of a Momma Bear against Baby Bear match-up. Kvitova has the edge in experience.

OK, so let’s get this match under way, and take it that Bouchard has the occasion under control. If that’s so, it has the makings of a classic confrontation – left versus right, both players who like to go for it, both fierce competitors and two players who have been playing well to get here. Between them they have dropped only one set – Kvitova going behind against Serena Williams.

If you get a good leftie playing well, then they are hard for a rightie to beat. Kvitova has a strong first serve and, especially when she goes wide with it, it’s a weapon that can win tennis matches.

Bouchard’s first serve is pretty smart too, hard for an opponent to get at, and she needs it to be roaring because her second is not so smart.

Neither is Kvitova’s, but she has done enough to win points on it through the rounds here. She was won, on average, in the mid-60 per cent of second serve points.

That drops when it comes to Bouchard’s stats. It was 45 per cent in her quarter and semi-final. There is an obvious solution to that (ahead of working on it over the next couple of years) – get those goddamn first serves in.

Once the ball is in play, I like how Bouchard delivers. She stands on the baseline, or even further forward, and that allows her to take the ball early. She did that excellently in the quarters and the semis and it was a major reason why she will be walking out on Centre this afternoon.

It gets the ball back at the opponent quicker, hurries them, and it is coming at you with real power too. This girl hits the ball hard. So does Kvitova and we could see one hell of a power surge out there.

The temptation here is to sit on the fence because I think Bouchard will handle the occasion – there was no suggestion in the semi-final of any nerves at all – but hey, guys, if you sit on the fence too long it starts to hurt. OK, so here goes. I’m going for Kvitova. Just.

Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
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.

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home