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Kvitova beats Safarova

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Saturday, July 05, 2014

LONDON - Former champion Petra Kvitova swept into her second Wimbledon final with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 victory over fellow Czech and close friend Lucie Safarova yesterday.

The 24-year-old is back in a grand slam final for the first time since that surprise triumph against Maria Sharapova at the All England Club three years ago.

Kvitova will play Canadian 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard or Romanian world number three Simona Halep in the final tomorrow.

"It was a tough match mentally because she is good friend of mine and we know each other well on and off the court. I knew she would play her best tennis and she did. Happily I won.

As the only former grand slam winner left in the women's tournament, Kvitova knows she has a glorious opportunity to finally get her hands on some significant silverware again.

Kvitova has been in fine form over the last fortnight, dropping just one set en route to the final and was playing in her third Wimbledon semi-final.

In contrast, Safarova, 27, was making her grand slam semi-final debut at the 37th attempt.

Kvitova, the only player born in the 1990s to win a grand slam title, knew it would be tricky to face one of her closest friends in the first all-Czech grand slam semi-final.

While Kvitova had lost three of her four grand slam semi-finals, she could take heart from her 5-0 record against Safarova and she was quickly back in control on a sun-kissed Centre Court.

Unloading a series of ferocious groundstrokes, Kvitova broke in the opening game when a backhand winner flashed past Safarova.

But Safarova was in combative mood herself and she broke back in the fourth game.

Kvitova had the upper hand in the tie-break and she couldn't convert her first set point, she capitalised on a rare Safarova miscue to earn another which she took with a superb winner before.

One more break in the sixth game put the final within touching distance and Kvitova sealed the deal in emphatic fashion.





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