Friday, July 1, 2011

Wimbledon Report: Ladies' Semifinals

The women's final will be The Battle of the Ovas as 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova face first-time Grand Slam finalist Petra Kvitova. With her serve clicking, Sharapova has looked sharped throughout the tournament being the only player to not have dropped a set. Kvitova is looking to be the first Czech player since Martina Navratilova to win a Grand Slam tournament.

Kvitova had to fight to get to her first final. After four rounds of easy matches, she was tested by Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarters and today by 4th seed Victoria Azarenka. Against Azarenka, she won the first set easily, but Azarenka fought back by handedly winning the second. Helped by Azarenka's shaky serve, Kvitova recovered nicely in the third set where she won on an Azarenka double fault booking her spot in the final.

It was a bit more routine for Sharapova who was looking to reach her first Grand Slam final since she got shoulder surgery three years ago. It was a dubious start for the Russian, broken early by her opponent, wildcard Sabine Lisicki, who seemed as relaxed as could be. Sharapova tightened up her game and fought to 4-4 before breaking Lisicki and then serving out the first set. Sharapova asserted and showed her experience in the 2nd set as Lisicki, perhaps starting to realize what she's playing for, just couldn't recover from losing the first set.

Finals Prediction: They've only played once before and it was last year at Memphis which Sharapova won in straights. Still they are both different players now than they were then and the occasion and venue is completely different. Kvitova is probably the more consistent player of the two at the moment, but Sharapova has the experience. Sharapova in 2.

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