It was a sad end to Eugenie Bouchard’s marvelous run in Wimbledon 2014 as she succumbed to Czech Repulic’s Petra Kvitova in the final without a fight. The 55-minute one-sided finish was brought about by Kvitova playing a power-packed faultless game that left the Canadian no option but gape at the whizzing shots passing her by. After Bouchards’s progress in the tournament, this was the least expected script for her last match. But one can’t take the credit away from the determined Kvitova, who didn’t seem to make many errors, forced or unforced.
Incidentally, Petra Kvitova was playing her first Grand Slam final after her victory in Wimbledon, three years ago. Watching Kvitova in the stand was the legendry Czech of the yore, the one and only Martina Navratilova, who had taken just one minute less than Kvitova in her 54-minute destruction of USA’s Andrea Jaeger in the women’s singles final 31 years ago. Ironically, after her first Wimbledon title in 2011, Kvitova has long ceased to be in the news as she couldn’t cope with the heightened expectations following her famous victory but the last fortnight proved to be a redeeming time for her. The road to Kvitova’s top performance has come with the loss of just one set in the six matches preceding the Championship game. She is set to become world’s no. 4 women’s player, when the WTA announces the new rankings next week.
As Petra Kvitova prepared to celebrate her second Wimbledon title, Bouchard suffered a relegation of a humiliating kind. Her progress to the final has been exemplary with the high point coming in her semifinal match against Simona Halep, the tournament top seed, who was done in by the Canadian in an authoritative fashion two days ago. The fiercely competitive Bouchard, whose extremely photogenic looks are talked about as much in the tennis world as her capability on the play-field, was the youngest finalist at a tennis major since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009. Bouchard’s mom was so obsessed with the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Eugenie, that she named her daughter after the Princess, 20 years ago. For the record, the Princess watched her name-shake from the front row in the Royal Box on Saturday. Tennis writers compare the glamorous Bouchard with Maria Sharapova, who incidentally was also thrashed by Kvitova in the 2011 final.
Kvitova was aggressive from the start as she broke Bouchard twice to take an unassailable 5-2 lead in the first set. For the young Canadian girl, it was only her sixth appearance in a Grand Slam tournament but she had played like an old hand in her matches. But Saturday was different, when unstoppable pressure from Kvitova left her frustrated. Bouchard’s tough business-like posture against Halep and other opponents had become a trademark at this year’s Wimbledon. Playing with Kvitova, however, she was clueless against the unrelenting accuracy and constant barrage of booming serves. Though she managed a break at 2-5, it was not enough as the Czech girl won the set by breaking Bouchard yet again. The 2011 champion continued her onslaught in the second set with another round of clean winners, delivered mercilessly against the Canadian. In all, Kvitova produced 28 winners against 8 by the Canadian. There was no way Bouchard was able to come back in the match, dominated by Kvitova from start to finish. The second set proved even tougher for Bouchard, who was left with no options but to surrender meekly against a charged-up opponent in a patently one-sided match that ended 6-3, 6-0 in Kvitova’s favor.
In a major upset on Saturday, American Jack Sock and Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated USA’s top-seeded duo of Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to win the men’s doubles crown at Wimbledon. It was the first time that Sock/Pospisil had entered any tournament as a team. Earlier on Friday, they had beaten India’s Leander Paes and Czech Republic’s Radek Stepnak to set up the final clash with the world-famous Bryan Brothers. On Friday, Bob and Mike had no problems in their semifinal match against the French duo of Llorda/Mahut and they looked set to win their fourth Wimbledon title but Sock and Pospisil surprised them.
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