Kvitova in final after winning Czech showdown

Thu Jul 3, 2014 11:26am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By David Goodman

LONDON (Reuters) - Former champion Petra Kvitova moved within one match of capturing a second Wimbledon title, ending the plucky resistance of Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6) 6-1 in their all-Czech showdown on Thursday.

Although few held out much hope of the 27-year-old Safarova beating her friend, having lost all five of their previous meetings, she had not lost a set en route to her first grand slam semi-final.

"It was a tough match mentally because Lucie is a great friend of mine, we know each other well off the court as well. I am just happy I won," sixth seed Kvitova, 24, told the BBC.

"I am very emotional but I have two days before the final to focus ... I know how it feels to lift that trophy so I will try my best to do it again."

After having her serve broken in the opening game, Safarova quickly settled into unfamiliar surroundings on Center Court, producing a series of venomous winners as the big-hitting left-handers slugged it out from the baseline.

The 23rd seed broke back in the fourth game and matched the powerful Kvitova every step of the way until the 2011 champion made the decisive breakthrough with a breathtaking cross-court forehand clinching a scintillating tie break.

Bloodied but unbowed, Safarova continued to attack at every opportunity but without the consistency required to unsettle her opponent.

Kvitova stepped up a gear to forge into a 3-0 lead in the second set.   Continued...

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic wins the first set during her women's singles semi-final tennis match against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 3, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett