Kvitová breezes through to Wimbledon quarterfinals but Berdych goes out

28-06-2011

Some of the Czech media labelled it Super Monday – the 4th round at Wimbledon in which three Czech players were vying to make it to the tournament’s quarterfinals. In the end, only one of the three did: not Tomáš Berdych (a finalist at Wimbledon last year and the World No. 7) and not the lesser-known Petra Cetkovská, whose surprise run was ended by German player Sabine Lisicki. Through to the quarterfinal is 21-year-old Petra Kvitová who is showing sensational form, dispatching Belgian opponent Yanina Wickmayer in a mere 45 minutes. The score: 6:0, 6:2.

Petra Kvitová, photo: CTKPetra Kvitová, photo: CTK What have been some of the secrets to her success? A little earlier I put that question to Czech Radio journalist Jaroslav Plašil, reporting on the tournament from London.

“Petra Kvitová definitely plays very well on grass: she has a great serve and she’s also a left-hander which causes a lot of problems for her right-handed opponents. Her return has also been very successful. But what’s even more important is that she has made great progress in coming to the net. In her last match she got eight winners from nine chances at the net. As she has racked up win after win, her confidence has also grown immensely and all of these things suggest she should continue doing well.”

On Monday, in the fourth round there was certainly no stopping her, losing only two games to Yanina Wickmayer, now she has reached the quarterfinals. Journalist Jaroslav Plašil again:

Yanina Wickmayer, Petra Kvitová, photo: CTKYanina Wickmayer, Petra Kvitová, photo: CTK “This match was in a league of its own, I haven’t seen even Kvitová play this well in quite a while. She gave her opponent no chance, Wickmayer was practically a bystander! That’s not the way it used to be: whenever they met in the past it was usually in very tough three-setters. Unfortunately, there is a catch: as is often the case with Kvitová she is fighting through an injury which means taking painkillers, so although she should progress further it isn’t certain. Consequently, how quickly she can finish off opponents becomes more important, before pain-killers wear off: a longer match could go very differently.”

Tomáš Berdych, Mardy Fish, photo: CTKTomáš Berdych, Mardy Fish, photo: CTK Despite the thigh injury, Kvitová appears upbeat ahead of the next round and she is still ‘in it’ unlike another Czech hopeful Tomáš Berdych who lost on Monday to US player Mardy Fish. Crucial was the tie-break in the first set, and although Berdych has often come back from downturns to win gritty five-setters, on Monday he could find no chinks in Fish’s armour. As a result he went down in straight sets and came nowhere close to rivalling last year’s appearance in the Wimbledon final. Jaroslav Plašil:

“After a while, following the tie-break, Berdych was at a loss, he couldn’t capitalise on any weaknesses. He didn’t play badly but the difference was in the serve and it soon became apparent this was a match he couldn’t win.”

Update: on Tuesday evening Kvitová defeated Bulgarian opponent Tsvetana Pironkova to advance to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the second straight year. The score was 6:3, 6:7, 6:2.

28-06-2011