Wimbledon 2011: Maria Sharapova gracious in defeat and backs Petra Kvitova for future grand slam wins
Maria Sharapova believes new Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will capture more grand slam titles, even in the teeth of fierce competition from big-hitters like the Williams sisters and Kim Clijsters.
Link : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ten...slam-wins.html
More to come: Maria Sharapova praised Petra Kvitova after the Czech won the Wimbledon title Photo: GETTY IMAGES
5:44PM BST 02 Jul 2011
Kvitova became just the third Czech woman to win Wimbledon after nine-time champion Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna when she upset the odds to defeat 2004 champion Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.
"She's a grand slam champion. She has a tremendous amount of potential to go even further and achieve many great things. If she keeps playing like that and keeps her level up, she has a great game for it," said Sharapova.
Serena and Venus Williams both made early exits at Wimbledon after lengthy lay-offs while Clijsters skipped the tournament through injury.
All three are expected, however, to be serious contenders once the US Open swings around in August.
"She has a very powerful game, so it's not unexpected. When she uses that, that's her strength. That's how she wins matches, when she goes for her shots, and they're very flat."
Sharapova also has no doubts that Kvitova is probably a better player than the current crop of young stars inside the top 10, such as current world number one Caroline Wozniacki and Wimbledon semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka.
"I think she's a much more powerful hitter, she has bigger strokes, and I would say probably a better serve," said Sharapova.
Kvitova, playing in her first grand slam final, never allowed Sharapova to settle and broke the Russian five times.
The Czech girl, who made the semi-finals in 2010, was broken three times herself but she played freely, making the most of being the only left-handed player in the top 20.
Sharapova, who had been bidding for a fourth grand slam crown, admitted that facing a left-handed player posed particular challenges.
"She used that to her advantage a lot. There are a lot more righties on the tour than lefties," said the Russian.
"She was hitting really powerful and hitting winners from all over the court. She made a defensive shot into an offensive one. I think she was just more aggressive, hit deeper and harder, and got the advantage in the points.
"In all, she performed incredible. Sometimes when you don't know what to expect and you don't know how you're going to feel, sometimes you play your best because you have that feeling of nothing to lose. She went for it."