Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Petra Kvitova returns a shot against Maria Sharapova during the final of Wimbledon on Centre Court on Saturday.
Petra Kvitova returns a shot against Maria Sharapova during the final of Wimbledon on Centre Court on Saturday.

Sharapova hails 'wonderful' Kvitova

Petra Kvitova won her first grand slam title on Saturday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final and then dropped to her knees in disbelief.

Petra Kvitova won her first grand slam title on Saturday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final and then dropped to her knees in disbelief.

Kvitova was playing in her first major final, but it was the three-time grand slam champion Sharapova who showed her nerves. The 2004 Wimbledon champion double-faulted six times, including twice to get broken to 4-2 in the first set.

"Unfortunately, in tennis there's only one winner at the end of the day and that's what makes this tournament so special," Sharapova said before turning her attention to Kvitova.

"So big congratulations on a wonderful victory, you played a wonderful tournament."

Kvitova, the 21-year-old Czech, is the first left-handed woman to win the Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova in 1990. The victory was only the fifth in her career, but four have come in 2011.

Using a fast-paced and well-placed forehand, Kvitova did little wrong on Centre Court as the Czech greats Navratilova and Jana Novotna sat in the Royal Box with several other former Wimbledon champions.

"It's very nice when they're watching me all the time and supporting me, it's great," said Kvitova. "They were so happy, I cried after I met them. It's still an unbelievable feeling. Maybe I'll accept it after a few days."

Kvitova kept Sharapova on the run with 18 winners and never seemed to lose confidence, despite being broken three times.

"Of course, I was nervous," Kvitova said. "I thought I can win Wimbledon. But I had to focus on each point."

Sharapova was the clear favourite entering the match. Besides winning the title at the All England Club in 2004, she also won the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.

Shoulder surgery in October 2008 slowed her career. Not until the French Open last month did Sharapova return to the semi-finals at a grand slam tournament.

"I've had amazing support over so many years and to be back at this stage and holding the runner-up trophy this year is something that obviously, I would have wanted that big one. It's something I'm going to be back for and I'm hoping to get again," Sharapova, 24, said.

She had not lost a set heading into the final. But she struggled with her serve in the semi-finals, double-faulting 13 times before beating the German wild card, Sabine Lisicki.

Sharapova won the toss at the net before the final and elected to receive, perhaps because she wanted some time to get into game action before serving.

Whatever the reason, it appeared to be a smart move because she broke for a 1-0 lead as Kvitova missed three forehands.

Sharapova's serve was then tested for the first time in the next game, and although she had only one fault in five attempts, she lost four of the points to even the score at 1-1.

Sharapova wasted her second chance at a break in the third game, and then gifted a break to Kvitova a few games later. With the score 30-30, Sharapova produced her second double-fault of the match. The third came two swings later.

Trailing 5-2, Sharapova double-faulted again to open the eighth game. But she did manage to hold and force Kvitova to serve out the set.

Kvitova broke Sharapova again in the opening game of the second set, with the Russian double-faulting for the fifth time to give the Czech a break point.

The pair twice traded breaks later in the set, but Kvitova held on to win the championship dish for the first time.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National