Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Petra Kvitova beats Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 in 55 minutes to win second Wimbledon title

LONDON — Petra Kvitova plays so much better at the All England Club than anywhere else, and now she owns two championships to prove it.

In one of the most dominant performances in a women's final at Wimbledon, the sixth-seeded Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, overpowered and overwhelmed 13th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-3, 6-0 in 55 minutes Saturday to add to her 2011 title at the grasscourt Grand Slam.

"I know," Kvitova said, "this is the best tournament for me."

Absolutely true. Her career record of 26-5 at Wimbledon translates to a .839 winning percentage, compared with her marks of .667 at the three other majors and .681 at all other events.

This year Kvitova lost in the first round at the hardcourt Australian Open and in the third round at the claycourt French Open. But get her on the grass court, and those speedy serves and flat forehands really shine.

"For sure, she was on," Bouchard said. "We know that when she's on, she's very tough to beat, especially on this surface."

Kvitova, 24, certainly was "on" Saturday. Oh, was she ever. She was pretty much perfect in every way.

The left-hander hit serves that reached 113 mph and earned easy points. She walloped big, deep returns that left Bouchard little time to react. She smacked flat groundstrokes off both wings that zipped right where she intended, often skidding near lines, helping accumulate a 28-8 edge in winners. She won 11 of 14 points she played at the net.

Most surprisingly, even to Kvitova, was the way she motored around the Centre Court grass with her right thigh heavily bandaged, displaying defensive skill she's not necessarily known for. It was telling that Bouchard lost in such a lopsided manner despite four unforced errors.

"I mean, (a) few shots was really incredible, and I really couldn't believe that I made it, actually," said Kvitova, who was within two points of defeat to Venus Williams in the third round. "I said, 'Oh, my God, this is good!' "

The last time a runnerup won only three games in the Wimbledon final was 1992, when Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles 6-2, 6-1. Before that, it hadn't happened since 1983, when another Czech lefty, Martina Navratilova, defeated Andrea Jaeger 6-0, 6-3.

Just 10 times in the history of a women's tournament first played in 1884 has a champion ceded fewer games in the final than Kvitova.

Kvitova, who was thrilled to have nine-time champion Navratilova present Saturday, remains the only player born in the 1990s to win a major singles title. Bouchard, 20, would have been the second.

When play began, Kvitova immediately took charge, breaking to lead 2-1 with a crosscourt forehand winner she celebrated by yelping "Pojd!" — the Czech equivalent of "Come on!"

Most points were short, but the next game ended with Kvitova taking a 13-stroke exchange, making two terrific defensive stabs to prolong it, before flicking a crosscourt backhand passing shot on the run.

Bouchard got one break back to pull within 5-3, but she didn't win another game. "She played unbelievable and didn't give me many opportunities to stay in the rally or do what I do," Bouchard said.

That's what Kvitova, who will rise to No. 4 in the rankings Monday, is capable of at Wimbledon.

"I feel really, like, at home. I mean I was really up and down after my title here 2011," said Kvitova, who beat Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the final three years ago. "I was still (working) hard, (believing) in myself."

men's doubles: In the first Wimbledon men's doubles final to feature four players from North America since 1983, American Jack Sock and Canadian Vasek Pospisil defeated the top-seeded Bryan twins, Bob of Sunny Isles Beach and Mike of Wesley Chapel, 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

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