Wimbledon 2014: Petra Kvitova wins second women's Wimbledon title as she destroys Eugenie Bouchard
Czech’s power and shot-making is too much for rival in 6-3 6-0 win
It was a display of which any of the legends in the Royal Box would have been proud. Under the approving eyes of former champions like Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and Maria Bueno, Petra Kvitova delivered one of the outstanding performances of recent Wimbledon history to claim her second All England Club title here.
Poor Eugenie Bouchard, who has won the hearts of the British public over the last fortnight, had no answer to Kvitova’s stunning shot-making. The 24-year-old Czech needed only 55 minutes to win 6-3 6-0, making it the shortest women’s final at Wimbledon since Navratilova beat Andrea Jaeger by the same scoreline in 54 minutes in 1983. It makes you wonder quite how Suzanne Lenglen beat Molla Mallory 6-2 6-0 in just 23 minutes in the quickest final in Wimbledon history in 1922.
The fact that Bouchard never found any rhythm on her debut in a Grand Slam final was down to the sheer power and accuracy of Kvitova’s hitting. The 2011 Wimbledon champion struck the ball superbly from both flanks. She hits her ground strokes flat and hard, with minimal top spin and very little margin for error. The ball flew off the slick grass, denying Bouchard the time to play her shots. The 20-year-old Canadian likes to dominate opponents but was never given a chance of doing that.
Petra Kvitova celebrates winning a point
Kvitova, who also served beautifully, said it was one of the best matches she had ever played. “I knew that I could play well on the grass, but I really played so well today,” she said. “I knew exactly what I had to do to beat her. I was very focused on every point. I knew I had to go forward with every shot to push her.”
With Princess Eugenie, whom Bouchard was named after, watching from the Royal Box, the Canadian showed no signs of nerves at the start of the first Grand Slam final to be contested by two players born in the 1990s.
Petra Kvitova kisses the winner's Venus Rosewater Dish during the presentation after beating Eugenie Bouchard
Kvitova might seem like a long- established figure within the game but she is still only 24. On this evidence she could win here many more times, though she said afterwards that she could not see herself emulating her fellow Czech, Navratilova, who won the Wimbledon title on nine occasions.
The morning rain had cleared by the time the match started, but under overcast skies it was significantly cooler than it had been in recent days. Kvitova, nevertheless, was red-hot from the start and Bouchard was soon struggling to cope with her power.
In the third game Kvitova cracked a big forehand cross-court winner to complete her first break of serve. The Czech broke again to lead 5-2 and although Bouchard replied in kind — only the fifth time that Kvitova’s serve had been broken at this tournament — she was unable to hold in the following game.
With Kvitova piling on the pressure in the second set, there was soon an inevitability about the outcome. The crowd, who clearly wanted more of a contest, gave Bouchard one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon when she hit a forehand winner at 0-5 and 15-30, but two points later Kvitova sealed victory with another big backhand cross-court winner.
With rain about to fall, both players left the court immediately after Kvitova had celebrated with her family and team as the Centre Court roof was closed in readiness for the presentation ceremony. Poor Bouchard found the experience “a little odd”. She explained: “I was in the engraver’s room, so I was watching them work, wishing one day, dreaming that he’ll write my name somewhere.”
Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon final
As for the match Bouchard said she had not been nervous and gave credit to Kvitova. “She played unbelievably and didn’t give me many opportunities to stay in the rallies,” she said. “She’s been playing well all tournament and was really going for it today. 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. Sometimes your opponent just plays better than you, and that’s what happened today.”
Bouchard said that she had been touched by the backing of the public. “Even on court today I felt some special support from the crowd,” she said. “It’s humbling to receive all this support.”
In the wake of her 2011 triumph Kvitova sometimes failed to live up to her promise. “I think I was really up and down every season that I played,” she said. “I really needed to get used to things and work with everything that was around me. But I really played a great tournament here. I was ready for every match. Every match was tough mentally. I played very good tennis. I served very well. Everything was just together.”
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