LONDON - Clearly, Petra Kvitova didn’t get the memo: this was supposed to be Eugenie Bouchard’s championship, the moment that gave Canada its first Grand Slam winner and women’s tennis a new international star.
Instead, Kvitova mercilessly and efficiently dismantled Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 in a match which lasted less than an hour to claim her second Wimbledon title, and deny the Canadian her first.
“It was really tough for me today, but I was proud of how I played this whole tournament. I love coming back to Wimbledon – so, thank you guys,” Bouchard said on Centre Court, after the match. “I feel like it’s a step in the right direction.
“I don’t know if I deserve all your love today, but I really appreciate it.”
Bouchard had not lost a set en route to Saturday’s final, but the early deficit should not have been insurmountable. The second set, however, was a complete domination. Bouchard did not win one service game against the 6’, left-handed Czech.
Bouchard’s road to the final was considerably smoother than it was expected to be: when the draw came out, she was in the toughest quarter, the one which threw up opponents like Serena Williams in the fourth round, and Maria Sharapova in the quarters. Both defending champions, they would have been serious obstacles on her way to a third straight semifinal – never mind a final.
But there’s a reason they play the tournament. Williams was knocked out by her third round opponent, Sharapova a round later. And suddenly, pretty much anything seemed possible for the 20-year-old Bouchard.
Bouchard and Kvitova had only met once before – in Canada, by coincidence, at the Rogers Cup in 2013. Kvitova neatly dispatched Bouchard in straight sets. But during this Wimbledon run, Bouchard handily defeated opponents – Andrea Petkovic, for example – that she had never before been close to.
It took Bouchard only six attempts to reach a Grand Slam final; three to make a semi. Williams and Sharapova, for example, both had to play seven before they reached the last day of play.
Kvitova, a lefty, won at Wimbledon in 2011, the first left-hander to do so since Martina Navratilova’s last victory, in 1990. But she had something of a mini-slump after winning here – at the next Grand Slam, the U.S. Open, she crashed out of the tournament in the first round, and said that pressure might have played a part.
Before Saturday’s final, Kvitova was much more confident, and said she felt the way she did the year she won. And after Saturday’s win, she said she felt much more prepared for the pressures to follow.
“It’s an amazing time for me,” Kvitova said. “It’s my second title, so I hope now it’s going to be better.”