Kvitova Completes Historic Czech Feat
Published June 30, 2014 12:13
With a couple of the favorites already eliminated, sixth-seeded Kvitova's chances of picking up a second Wimbledon crown seemed formidable. She survived an epic three set battle with Venus Williams in the third round and came into her fourth round clash with Peng 4-0 in their history. If she was victorious again, that would mean three Czechs would be in a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in the Open Era - with Lucie Safarova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova having advanced earlier in the day.
Peng equaled her best Grand Slam result by reaching the fourth round, having also gotten that far at the 2011 Australian Open, 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open and 2012 Wimbledon. Though she had 12 Top 10 wins under her belt, she had lost 16 straight matches against Top 10 opponents.
The Turning Point
It was all holds through seven games, but then Kvitova seized the momentum by breaking Peng and closed out the first set with a hold. She got the first break of the second set at 1-1, later broke again to go up 5-2 and then closed out the exactly one-hour, 6-3, 6-2 victory.
By The Numbers
Kvitova won 84% of her first serve points compared to 59% for her opponent. She also won 82% of her net approaches compared to 25% for Peng, had 12 more winners and fought off the lone break point she faced. Kvitova is now 23-5 all-time at Wimbledon and 6-0 on grass this year.
"I knew that she can play very well on the grass," Kvitova said. "After my match against Venus, I was worried it would be very difficult to recover emotionally and physically, but I had two days off, which was helpful. I was able to relax a little bit and focus on this match. I was focusing on every point. It was pretty close from the beginning, and when I broke her it got me more relaxed, and I was able to play my game. I'm just glad that I won."
Kvitova plays Zahlavova Strycova, whom she is 3-1 against. Zahlavova Strycova followed up her career-best win over No.2 seed Li Na in the third round by recording a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over No.16 seed Caroline Wozniacki in her fourth round match. Not only was it her first win in four meetings with Wozniacki, but it put her into her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Most impressively, she fired 31 winners and won 27 of 31 points at the net.
"I can't believe it right now," Zahlavova Strycova said. "It's great. It was a tough match and it took me five match points. I'm really happy that I was able to win today."
"It's hardest for me to play against her on grass," Wozniacki said. "On clay and on hardcourts, the ball bounces up a little bit more. But she mixes up the pace and hits a lot of drop shots and slice returns that don't bounce up. She kind of gets you out of your rhythm a little bit. She also came to the net a lot and was very successful."