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How The Match Was Won: Petra Kvitova v Lucie Safarova

Petra Kvitova celebrates during her Semi-final match
by Vivienne Christie
Thursday 3 July 2014

The key components of Petra Kvitova's  7-6(5), 6-1 victory against Lucie Safarova

Emotions aside: The first all-Czech Grand Slam semi-final was also one that was contested between two close friends, Kvitova and Safarova long-time practice partners and Fed Cup team-mates. But emotion – or at least sympathy – didn’t factor as Kvitova secured another Grand Slam opportunity, her high-pitched celebratory screams highlighting a merciless intention to add to her Wimbledon success.

The serve: With a double fault and an unforced error, Kvitova went 0-30 down in her opening service game. A pair of powerful aces set her decisively back on track, establishing a pattern for victory. It wasn’t just Kvitova’s eight aces that proved influential, but hitting them at the right moments. Many other serves were virtually unreturnable, her fastest of the match a challenging 112 mph.

Power: Winning every match without the loss of a set this tournament, Safarova had inflicted some damage with heavy hitting of her own. But it was Kvitova who was the more commanding presence in this match, with some penetrating power helping her to 14 winners and an overall dominance against her deft but ultimately overwhelmed opponent.

Calm under pressure: Three-set victories have become something of a Kvitova trademark, so there was no panic when her less-experienced countrywoman pushed the first set to a tie-break. While Safarova made some untimely errors, Kvitova brought out her weapons; some thunderous serves and an emphatic forehand winner on set point set the tone for the runaway victory to come.

Experience: Lucie Safarova had never been to a Grand Slam semi-final, nor had she played on Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Kvitova, on the other hand, had already played and won on her favourite court twice this tournament. Then, of course, there was her victory over Maria Sharapova to win the 2011 final. After the tightly contested first set, all that big match experience showed as she seized momentum to take the second set in 29 minutes.

The path to the final

First round: Defeated Andrea Hlavackova 6-3, 6-0 in an hour, 15 minutes
The world No.118 is one of three countrywomen that Kvitova would defeat on the way to her second Wimbledon final.

Second round: Defeated Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-0 in 55 minutes
The 59th-ranked German provides no resistance as Kvitova claims the last 11 games to record her quickest victory at the All England Club.

Third round: Defeated Venus Williams 5-7, 7-6(2), 7-5 in two hours, 30 minutes
The match between two former champions would be the turning point for Kvitova, who believed she’d played her best tennis since winning the 2011 title.

Fourth round: Defeated Shuai Peng 6-3, 6-2 in one hour, one minute
There was no sign of a letdown after her difficult third round win as Kvitova quickly overpowered the world No.61.

Quarter-final: Defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 7-5 in one hour, 28 minutes
A business-like performance sees Kvitova through to the Wimbledon semi-finals for the third time.

Semi-final:  Defeated Lucie Safarova in 7-6(1) 6-1
Kvitova is challenged early but ultimately emphatic as she charges into the second Wimbledon final of her career.

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