Kvitova was at her attacking best, dominating the baseline with her raking lefty forehand, and saved five of six break points to move through to her 18th WTA final.
Kvitova only managed to make 53% of her first serves against Svitolina, but won an extremely high 81% (30/37) of them, mainly due to hitting her spots right in the corners of the service boxes. Kvitova won a commanding 89% (25/28) when she nailed her serve deep in any of the four corners.
Kvitova's serve started particularly well as she only lost one point on serve in her opening three service games - a double fault at 1-1, 40-0. She broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set and saved both break points she faced when serving at 5-3. 15-40. It was a dominant set, won by playing through an opponent with explosive first-strike tennis.
The main reason that Kvitova held serve so easily in the match was that so many of her pinpoint serves were unreturnable by Svitolina. Kvitova averaged 104mph on her 1st serves, delivered seven aces, and enjoyed a very high 43% of her first serves and 30% of her second serves unreturned by her Ukrainian opponent.
Svitolina's second serve was always attacked by Kvitova, as she repeatedly stepped well inside the baseline and hammered returns. Svitolina only managed to win nine points on her second serve for the match, mainly due to an average speed of 82mph, which was 13mph slower than Kvitova's second serve average of 95mph.
Kvitova hit every second serve return standing inside the baseline, crushing the ball back at Svitolina to take precious time away from her preparation for the next shot. Kvitova's average second serve return speed was 73mph, which was markedly faster than Svitolina's average of 64mph, which helped the Czech crush four backhand return winners.
Today's game revolves so much around power and making the ball heavy on your opponent's racket, and Kvitova is one of the best at dropping heat in every strategic aspect.
Svitolina should have gone after Kvitova's backhand a lot more, as it contributed only one winner and 28 errors (17 groundstroke / 11 return). But Svitolina had an even 50-50 mix to the deuce and ad courts with her groundstrokes, giving up too much exposure to Kvitova's lethal forehand.
Kvitova was always looking to move forward to crush a groundstroke, making contact 38% of the time inside the baseline. Kvitova won a dominant 81% (17/21) of points finishing at the net while Svitolina hardly ventured forward, winning just two of four.
Kvitova rolled to a 3-1 lead in the second set and looked like she was going to run away with the match, only to have Svitolina come back with some big hitting when behind in the score. Svitolina broke back to get to 3-3 in the second, starting that game with a punishing down-the-line forehand that landed right on the sideline. At 15-15, she hit a powerful forehand return that skidded right off the baseline. She won the game a few points later with patience, as Kvitova missed long with an errant backhand.
Kvitova broke at 5-5, hitting three forehand winners in the game, and saved a break point at 6-5, ad-out, when Svitolina netted a routine backhand return. Kvitova won the match two points later with another forehand winner right on top of the net from a short backhand return.
Kvitova will need her serve and forehand to be humming again in Saturday's final against Eugenie Bouchard. It was exactly those two weapons that stood tall in a one-sided Wimbledon final a couple of months ago.
Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) is the leading analyst for wtatennis.com throughout the 2014 season, utilizing SAP Data & Insights to uncover the patterns and percentages that dominate the game. Visit Craig's website at www.braingametennis.com for more expert strategy analysis.