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Since she's all famous and stuff, we should post all interesting articles in here. :lol:

In Petra Kvitova, a new star is born
Jul 2 | By Sandra Harwitt

Petra Kvitova is not the type of individual who seeks attention. She's kind of shy about her achievements.

But after defeating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday for the Wimbledon title, she can't escape being famous.

"I'm so tired," Kvitova told about 10 journalists receiving some extra time with the champion after she did her main news conference and TV interviews. "I know it will change. I don't know what it will be [like] in [her native] Czech Republic."

When asked if she ever had a desire to be famous, the 21-year-old struggled to answer the question.
"I mean, it's part of being a tennis player, being famous," she eventually said. "So when I won Wimbledon, I had to agree [with it]."

One sign of that fame is being added to the Wimbledon Wall of Champions, which is located within the inner sanctum of the All England Club. The new champion's name -- clear and bold in gold lettering -- is put in its rightful spot even before the trophy ceremony on Centre Court is concluded.

Kvitova was able to watch the procedure when it was shown on the Centre Court scoreboard. Whether she's ready or not, Kvitova knew it was just another sign of her burgeoning stardom.

"When I was sitting on the court after the match I saw it [happening] on the TV," Kvitova said. "It was strange."

3,058 Posts
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 :

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."

3,532 Posts
I would love to see press coverage from Czech press. :)

14,732 Posts
This one is c. 95% about Martha, but I liked the Hingisova quote I bolded:

A star is born, another is reborn at Wimbledon
By JOHN LEICESTER, AP Sports Columnist
Jul 2, 5:10 pm EDT

WIMBLEDON, England (AP)—Not a bad day’s work for women’s tennis. In new Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, it has a new star. In runner-up Maria Sharapova, it has a star reborn. And Serena Williams showed on these lawns she is several steps down the comeback trail, too. So just why, exactly, were so many people so down not so long ago about the state of the women’s game?

Kvitova’s first major title won’t be her last.

She cracks forehands and backhands like Indiana Jones’ whip. Her left-handed serve, particularly when thumped down out wide, is as slippery as snakes in soapsuds for righties like Sharapova to grab hold of. Kvitova showed the same brand of fearlessness that Sharapova wowed Centre Court with as an insouciant 17-year-old champion in 2004. The wavy-haired blonde from the Czech Republic is the complete tennis package, with the cool-under-pressure poise that allows champions to convert mere opportunities into actual trophies.

“I don’t think this is the only time she’ll win here,” said 18-time major winner Martina Navratilova. “It’s very exciting. A new star.”

Since the Open era began in 1968, most women—two-thirds, to be precise— have lost their first Grand Slam final.

Kvitova, whose previous Grand Slam best was a Wimbledon semifinal last year, looked at home on the unfamiliar stage. Nerves and over-hit forehands cost Kvitova her first service game. But those in the crowd who wondered whether she might simply wilt from that point quickly got their answer when Kvitova immediately broke back.

Against players who roll over far easier than the ever-gritty Sharapova, the final score could have been 6-1, 6-1, not 6-3, 6-4—so convincing was Kvitova’s play.

“And serving it out with an ace, now that’s fashion,” said Martina Hingis, the 1997 champion.

Sharapova studied the runner’s-up trophy with a detached, half-interested air.

“Obviously, I would have wanted that big one,” the Russian said.

Well, perhaps next time. That can be said with more, although not absolute, confidence now. But it would not have been said a year ago. Then, it seemed that the former No. 1 might never recapture the strength she lost when her right shoulder first started creaking like an ungreased cog in 2007 and then ultimately failed her in 2008.

She had a cortisone shot to get her through the 2007 French Open, where “I basically played without a shoulder,” and anti-inflammatories and 2 1/2 hours of treatment each day—acupuncture, massage, ice, “you name it, I do it,” she said—at Wimbledon that year.

She went on an 18-match winning streak after winning the 2008 Australian Open. But the shoulder problems returned with a vengeance not long after she lost in the second round of Wimbledon that year, her earliest Grand Slam exit since her first full season on tour in 2003. She couldn’t play at the Beijing Olympics, nor at the U.S. Open. The medical verdict: not only had she torn the rotator cuff tendon that helps to stabilize the shoulder but had been playing with the injury for months.

From there, it has been a long and winding road back. Ten weeks of shoulder rehab in Arizona with similarly injured pitchers and quarterbacks didn’t stop the pain, so she had surgery. At that point, many others might have given up. Not Sharapova. With her semifinal this year at Roland Garros and, now, her second Wimbledon final, she’s undeniably back.

For athletes who once felt invincible, injury confronts them with their own vulnerability. It can make confident world beaters more timid. There is the shock of discovering that while they are sidelined, the sport they once ruled carries on without them and, sometimes, depression for those, like Sharapova, who can’t be sure how quickly they will heal.

“It’s a little terrifying,” said Sean McCann, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology department. “Some people don’t have the willpower and drive to pull that off.”

Willpower is not something Sharapova lacks.

“Even among top athletes, it’s a rather unique story—her ability to fight back multiple times from injury,” McCann said. “Impressive.”

But when Williams, a fourth-round Wimbledon loser, is back to her best after her 11 months out with a cut foot and blood clots on the lungs, and when absentee Kim Clijsters’ right ankle is better, how will Sharapova fare then? Her serve is still a weakness. She had successive double-faults that not only gave the sixth game of the first set to Kvitova but gave the future champion the momentum, too.

Billie Jean King said Sharapova has “fought her shoulder and had to change her swing on her serve.”

“Her shoulder is so loose, the joint, that she had trouble knowing where the face of the racket is on the back swing,” she said. “She’s much better now. If you notice she has a shorter, abbreviated—it’s not abbreviated abbreviated—but it’s shorter and doesn’t come back as far on the back part of her swing as it did when she won here when she was 17.”

Still, you can be sure that Sharapova will be out working the practice courts as soon as this disappointment wears off.

This wasn’t an epic final. It wasn’t a bore, either.

Kvitova and women’s tennis were both winners.

14,732 Posts
A few more I stole from the Cult (mostly detected and posted by lexpretend).

This one is a profile in the shape of a quaestio. Bolded part. :devil:

Wimbledon 2011: Petra Kvitova profile
The Czech champion follows in the footsteps of Jana Novotna and Martina Navratilova after her SW19 exploits, Saturday 2 July 2011 18.56 BST

So who's this new Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, then? (It was so much easier to keep track when it was always one or other of the Williams sisters.)

She's the 21-year-old world No7, and the current holder of the Women's Tennis Association's 'Newcomer of the Year' award.

Presumably that's a prestigious bauble?

Past winners include multiple slam winners such as Venus, Serena, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis.

So her ascension to the top was pretty much guaranteed…

Not necessarily. The WTA Newcomer roll call also includes long-forgotten grand-slam failures such as Daja Bedanova, Irina Spirlea and Caroline Wozniacki.

Very droll. Look, was this a bolt from the blue or not?

No. Her form has been improving: she made the quarter-finals at this year's Australian Open, losing 6-2, 6-4 to last year's losing Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva, then made the fourth round of the French Open, losing to the eventual winner Li Na.

Not bad...

Ah, but we've not even mentioned her grass-court nous yet. It's her best surface. She was an unseeded semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year, losing in straight sets to Serena Williams. And just before this year's tournament, she was runner-up at Eastbourne.

Yes, in retrospect she was clearly on the march. Where does she hail from?

She's from a village in the north-east of the Czech Republic called Fulnek. She's not the first tennis player from the area to make it to Wimbledon; Kveta Peschke reached the fourth round in 2005.

She's certainly not the first Czech woman to emerge victorious from SW19...

Indeed she is not. Jana Novotna won in 1998, and of course there's nine-times champion Martina Navratilova, though if you're being picky, she was a naturalised US citizen by the time of her successes.

Is Martina is one of Kvitova's heroes?

Naturally, along with Hana Mandlikova. But Navratilova is her favourite, given that they're both left handed.

The similarities are striking.

Nearly. One down, eight still to go.

14,732 Posts
Wimbledon 2011: Petra Kvitova defeats Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 to win women's singles final on Centre Court

So the moneyed and honeyed Maria Sharapova had her Wimbledon final hijacked by an opponent, who, in some ways, is an anti-Maria, an anti-celebrity.

By Mark Hodgkinson
4:02PM BST 02 Jul 2011

The unstarry, unaffected Petra Kvitova, a 21 year-old from the Czech Republic who thinks of herself as a "jeans and T-shirt" kind of girl, and who could not even tell you who her favourite clothes designer is, played with a nerveless ease to defeat Sharapova on Centre Court for her first grand slam title.

It had been widely supposed that this title-match would bring a comeback victory for the world's highest-earning sportswoman, for the groomed and polished Sharapova, for the lady whose face has launched a thousand advertising campaigns, yet she was beaten by someone who does not appear to know how good she is.

Kvitova, ranked eighth in the world, certainly does not have the look of an athlete who has spent much time considering her own worth. Had Sharapova won this match, kisses would have been blown to all corners of Centre Court; in the moments after Kvitova's 6-3, 6-4 victory, which she had completed with an ace banged through into the backstop, the Czech sat on her chair with her hands covering her mouth.

During an on-court interview with the BBC, Kvitova broke off and half turned away when she thought that Sue Barker was finished with her, so looking every bit like someone not used to what happens after winning a title on a big occasion. Soon after being presented with the Venus Rosewater Dish, she walked off the turf and was shown the honours board, which already had her name on it, and she let out a little embarrassed giggle, and she was then a touch self-conscious and awkward, though obviously pleased too, after she took the trophy out the back of the stadium to show the crowds.

Kvitova made for a low-to-middling tennis celebrity, and a superb, delightful Wimbledon champion.

So Kvitova became the youngest Wimbledon champion since Sharapova won this title as a 17-year-old in 2004. Whenever anyone looks back to that final, when Sharapova defeated Serena Williams, they remember it as the afternoon when she gave birth to a brand. While no one is ever going to win Wimbledon and keep a low profile, it did not feel as though this was the moment that launched Kvitova as a megastar.

That is not to criticise or to patronise her; not everyone can have, and not everyone wants to have, Sharapova's life. Though Sharapova and Kvitova are both very tall, very modern Eastern Europeans who cuff the ball, they are plainly not two chips from the same Eastern Bloc.

Sharapova was born in Siberia; but she is really a product of Florida and that tennis factory known as the Nick Bollettieri Academy. Kvitova, who was born in the Moravian-Silesian region of the Czech Republic, still lives in the family home in the small town of Fulnek.

Whatever Kvitova lacked in poise after the match and between points, she showed plenty when the tennis was actually being played. Plus, a lot of strength in her arm. There have not been many occasions in Sharapova's tennis life when she has been out-hit, but this was one of them, as Kvitova prevented Sharapova from winning her first grand slam since the 2008 Australian Open and since the operation to her shoulder.

Once again, Sharapova had some problems with her serve. In her semi-final against the German wild card Sabine Lisicki, Sharapova had struck 13 double-faults, and she committed another six in this final, including a run of three in a row spread over two games. But Sharapova, who had reached the final without dropping a set, did not beat herself with her own serving yips; she was beaten by Kvitova's fine grass-court tennis.

When Kvitova arrived at the All England Club last summer she had never won a match on grass (she had lost her first four appearances on the surface), and then she made the semi-finals, She came back this year and won the whole thing. What was so welcome about this result was that Kvitova was playing freely and taking big swings; in contrast, you could say, to the careful, overly-defensive play from Caroline Wozniacki, who is officially the best player in the women's game, but who is yet to win a major.

This was one for the lefties. No longer do you have to cast around in the Royal Box for the last left-hander to have won this tournament. Given all the supposed advantages of being a leftie on a grass court, it is strange to think that, before this match, the last southpaw champion was Martina Navratilova, the winner here in the summer of 1990.

That was when Kvitova was just four months old. Navratilova was here to see this. In the Open era, only four left-handed players have appeared in grand slam finals – Ann Jones, Monica Seles, Navratilova and now Kvitova. However, you could say that, for a moment or two, this was an all-left-handed final.

Sharapova, who is ambidextrous, played left-handed until she was 10, and on a couple of occasions, after being sent wide on what would have been her backhand side, she switched the racket into her other hand and attempted a leftie forehand. The most emotional moment came when Kvitova looked up at Navratilova and also at Jana Novotna, who had previously been the last Czech woman to have won this tournament with her victory in 1998. Kvitova's eyes turned pink and puffy.

Kvitova had been oblivious to Sharapova's grunting. The fact that she had played the shrieking Victoria Azarenka of Belarus a round earlier was probably useful as it meant that she had recent experience of dealing with a screamer. But perhaps she would have been oblivious anyway. Kvitova was oblivious to a lot of things. She just went out there and played, hit the ball hard and won Wimbledon. Everything else, you could say, is just nonsense and fripperies.

14,732 Posts
And finally:

Cool Kvitova proves a charming champion

Saturday, 2 July 2011

by Kate Battersby

Some human qualities shine through language barriers. Petra Kvitova's English may not yet quite be the equal of her tennis, but no matter - sweetness is her first language. The 21-year-old smiled and laughed her way through her post-victory news conference - shaking her head in shy disbelief at hearing herself introduced as the 2011 Wimbledon champion - and thoroughly charmed all present.

"It's hard to find words," she said. "I still don't know how I feel. It's still an unbelievable feeling. Maybe I'll accept it after... I don't know... some days. I was so happy at the moment when I won. It's strange."

It must indeed be strange, to have your dreams come true. Told a star was born today, and that there will probably be many Grand Slam titles coming her way, the 21-year-old liked the sound of that. "You think?" she grinned, and then agreed: "Yeah, OK."

It was Kvitova's cool demeanour that marked the pathway to her victory. But how was this so, in her debut Grand Slam final, against an opponent of Sharapova's experience? Kvitova didn't quite know. She slept well last night, she reported, and then tried to treat the greatest morning of her career as ordinary match preparation like any other.

"I was like I am before a normal match," she said. But even she conceded to being pleased with how relaxed she was. "I was surprised how I was feeling on court because I was focused only on each point and each game, and not on the final and the medal. Sometimes my serve wasn't so good, so I had to keep mentally good. I knew I had to be the first one to play hard, and I had to make the points. I did that.

"I like the big matches. I believed I could play very good in the final, and I did play that way. It was about the serve, for sure, and the return. I know that she returns very well, but I knew I could return her serve also. I knew she would make some double faults. On the important points I played well. I returned very well.

"Last year here in the semi-final against Serena Williams, I didn't have many chances to win. Serena played so well. I was young and I didn't think that I could beat her. That's what was different this time. Today I felt I could win."

So what was it like, to stand on the brink of the dream? What was it like when she left her chair at the changeover for the last time, knowing that she was serving for the Championship?

"In the game before, I was thinking 'I have to do it now'," she said. "And then I'm doing it. Then when I had 40-love, I was just going for the point, and I believed in myself."

Her belief, and her ability, made Kvitova the first left-hander to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since Martina Navratilova in 1990. She spoke with Navratilova afterwards, and also with the last Czech ladies' singles champion here, Jana Novotna, both of whom watched her victory from the Royal Box.

"They were so happy," smiled Kvitova, overcome by the idea that her own idols could be moved by her achievements. "I cried after I met them. It meant a lot to me to speak with them after the final."

There it was - that sweetness again.

3,532 Posts
Headlines from Czech sport website :)


3,532 Posts

Skoda-driver Kvitova makes fast progress to conquer Sharapova
...Compare that with Kvitova's upbringing in Fulnek, where her father, a former teacher, is the deputy mayor. Nearly 200 miles east of Prague, the town has a population of just 6,000.

"There is nothing special there," Kvitova said. "We have four tennis courts, one football ground and a castle. Until I was 16 I only played for an hour or an hour-and-a-half after school. I didn't have any sparring partners. I just played with my two brothers and my parents. I didn't think that I could be a tennis player. My father was my coach until I was 16 or 17. My parents then encouraged me to move to Prostejov, where I saw people like Tomas Berdych practising."

Kvitova, who has an apartment in Fulnek, makes the one-hour drive to Prostejov every day in her Skoda. "I don't think I'll buy a new car," she said when asked how she might spend the £1.1m prize money that goes with her Wimbledon win. "I've seen some Skodas here [in Britain]. They are superb!"

14,732 Posts
Similar to the one in the previous post:

Wimbledon 2011: Petra Kvitova greets victory with typical modesty

When asked about her meteoric rise to fame, the Skoda-driving Czech is as unassuming as the small town she grew up in

Kevin Mitchell at Wimbledon, Sunday 3 July 2011 22.59 BST

Petra Kvitova drives a Skoda and her English comes in considered little lumps, with no artifice. The bright new force in the women's game will let her tennis do the talking and her smile embellish the story of a country girl from the Czech Republic.

She is from a small town near the Polish border, Fulnek, which, she is happy to tell us, "is nothing special, 6,000 people, four tennis courts, one football ground and a castle".

Just your run-of-the mill Moravian village, then – but Kvitova is no run-of-the-mill tennis player. The new Wimbledon champion, who played with an irresistible mix of power, subtlety and intelligence to confound the more graceful but fragile Maria Sharapova on Centre Court on Saturday, is special.

She is 21 and getting better faster than anyone in the game. Within moments of her 6-3, 6-4 win over Sharapova – which she brought to a thumping conclusion with her only ace in an hour and 25 minutes of absorbing tennis – bookmakers had made her favourite to retain her title next year. She cannot wait to come back.

If the women's game is in disarray, Kvitova might be the player to restore order. In a fortnight of mayhem that accounted for the early same-day departure of the Williams sisters, the exit of the world No1, Caroline Wozniacki, and finally, the defeat of the favourite, Sharapova, she rose without fuss from the outside courts to the centre of the game, a splendid, unassuming young champion who appears to have no side, but plenty of side-spin. She has come some way since losing to Serena Williams here last year and dates her real advance from the start of this year.

"I started very well, with a win [in Brisbane, followed quickly by Paris indoors and Madrid]. Last year I was here and I was 62 in the world and now I'm eighth and I won Wimbledon. It's so quick. I don't know why."

Kvitova leaves those judgments to others. She plays with an instinctive lust for hitting a yellow ball that defies glib analysis. She gives the impression, probably legitimate, that there is no premeditation in her strokeplay, that it flows from the moment. Nor is she worrying about her place in history. Asked if she thought she might be in the vanguard of a new era, she said, "I'm not thinking about that. I have no idea."

Nor, believe it or not, had she thought much about her considerable change in circumstances. What emotions did she feel on becoming an instant millionaire? "Nothing. I don't know. I don't have an idea."

Indeed, Kvitova will not be bulldozed into stereotypes. Her Skoda is not a battered old banger but a new one that does not need replacing, as she drives the hour's journey to Fulnek from her flat in Prostejov. These are names and spellings at the centre of the tennis universe. The game has turned east.

Kvitova started in Fulnek with no great dream, another turn against preconceptions. "I didn't think I would play professionally but, when I watched some tennis on the TV, it was Wimbledon," she said. "I watched [Andre] Agassi and [Pete] Sampras and of course [Martina] Navratilova."

Kvitova was only a few months old when her compatriot Navratilova won the last of her nine Wimbledon singles titles – and Navratilova was there to watch her win on Saturday.

"My father was my coach until I was 16 or 17 and then I moved to Prostejov," said Kvitova. "Until I was 16 I only played for an hour or an hour and a half after school. I didn't think that I could be a tennis player. Then when I moved to Prostejov I saw who was practising there – people like Tomas Berdych. My parents encouraged me to move, because I didn't have any sparring partners. I played with my two brothers and my parents. That's it."

If the 21-year-old left-hander is reluctant to carry the whole game on her shoulders, she is happy to celebrate good days for the Czechs. There are nine of them in the women's top 100 and the best of them says: "Sometimes I think about this and I think it's about our parents. We had our problems before and it's from the heart and the parents.

"We do not practise in the same club, the Czech girls, but it's good to know we have so many talented players. We are like family."

Happy days in Fulnek.

3,058 Posts
Insights from Kotyza (highlighted in red) of how clever Kvitty Girl is :

A star is unveiled: Czech Kvitova tops Sharapova for Wimbledon title

Upstart wins her first Grand Slam title by toppling Manhattan Beach resident in straight sets
By Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press
Posted: 07/03/2011 03:19:21 AM PDT

WIMBLEDON, England - One might reasonably have expected Petra Kvitova, not Maria Sharapova, to be betrayed by nerves in the Wimbledon final.

This was, after all, Kvitova's first Grand Slam championship match, while Sharapova already owned three major titles, including one from the All England Club. So Kvitova decided to pretend she was heading out on Centre Court to play in the fourth round.

That mindset worked. So, too, did nearly everything Kvitova tried once play began, particularly her big, flat, left-handed groundstrokes that pushed Sharapova back on her heels. In a surprisingly lopsided final, Kvitova beat the higher-seeded, yet shakier, Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to win Wimbledon for her first Grand Slam trophy.

"I was surprised how I was feeling on the court," Kvitova said, "because I was focused only on the point and on the game and not on the final."

If there were those who wondered how the eighth-seeded Kvitova would handle the setting and the pressure, her coach did not.

Indeed, David Kotyza had an inkling his new pupil possessed the right stuff to win titles shortly after they began working together about 2 years ago. That's because he was wowed by the several pages of handwritten answers Kvitova supplied for a questionnaire he gave her back then - and has kept to this day. "I was really surprised about how she thinks about tennis, how clever she is. She told me her advantages, disadvantages, what she has

to improve," Kotyza said, then pointed a finger to his temple, adding: "Her brain is a big advantage for this game."

When she was a kid growing up in Fulnek, Czech Republic - population: 6,000 - and practicing an hour or so after school each day, Kvitova didn't count on becoming a professional tennis player. She simply wasn't that good, yet. Clearly, she's a quick study.

Before Wimbledon in 2010, Kvitova's career record on grass was 0-4. She is 16-2 on the slick surface since, including a run to the semifinals here last year before losing to Serena Williams.

At 21, Kvitova is the youngest Wimbledon champion since - you guessed it - Sharapova was 17 in 2004. Kvitova also is the first Czech to win the tournament since Jana Novotna in 1998.

Plus, Kvitova is only the third left-handed woman to win the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. The last was Martina Navratilova, who won her ninth Wimbledon title in 1990, a few months after Kvitova was born.

"She played brave tennis, and she deserved to win. She was by far the better player," said Navratilova, who was born in Czechoslovakia and sat near Novotna in the Royal Box on Saturday. "I don't think this is the only time she'll win here. It's very exciting. A new star."

That last phrase was being uttered by many after Kvitova made the Manhattan Beach resident look ordinary.

Consider: Until Saturday, Sharapova had won all 12 sets she played over the last two weeks. But, as Sharapova's coach Thomas Hogstedt summed up afterward: "One played well. The other didn't play well. Maria didn't play as good as she can."

That was, at least in part, Kvitova's doing.

She compiled 19 winners, most by zipping her heavy forehands and backhands from the baseline, where her 6-foot frame and long arms helped greatly.

"She created offensive opportunities from tough positions on the court," Sharapova said. "Sometimes it's just too good."

Kvitova also broke Sharapova five times, anticipating where serves were headed.

It helped that Sharapova double-faulted six times.

"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," said the fifth-seeded Sharapova, who was playing in a major final for the first time since right shoulder surgery in October 2008. "She went for it, absolutely."

More stunning was the way Sharapova crumpled at key moments. One example: She double-faulted twice in a row to lose serve and fall behind 4-2 in the first set. Kvitova - now 4-1 in finals this year - broke again to begin the second set. The two exchanged four straight breaks in the middle of that set, before Kvitova gathered herself. Ahead 4-3, but trailing 15-30 while serving, Kvitova hit three straight service winners to get to 5-3.

14,924 Posts
In this USA Today article, none Other than US Fed Cup coach/ESPN analyst (and miss IMF/Sharapova) Mary Joe Fernandez calls Petra the "hardest hitter she's ever seen", and her coach talks about her big match ability, reasons for earlier grass losses, and her relatively late tennis start and more.

Does the MJF quote make up for Chris Evert's and Pam Shriver's awful analysis of Petra's game and chances vs Vica, Masha & Wimby in general on ESPN? Lol

By Douglas Robson, Special for USA TODAY

Posted 2d 9h ago2h 16m ago |

WIMBLEDON, England — Are grass court champions made or born?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic earns her first Wimbledon title, and her frist Grand Slam title, in her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic earns her first Wimbledon title, and her frist Grand Slam title, in her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic earns her first Wimbledon title, and her frist Grand Slam title, in her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Petra Kvitova, the breakthrough Wimbledon titlist from the Czech Republic, sure looked like a natural in beating Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-3, 6-4 in Saturday's final, blending poise and power for her first Grand Slam title.

The eighth-seeded Kvitova bludgeoned the ball from the backcourt, pounced on returns and hit body blows with her lefty serve in the 85-minute contest. She unleashed her one and only ace on match point.

"She's like the first-strike tennis queen," said Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "She hits the ball harder than anyone I've ever seen."
It's easy to forget that Kvitova, 21, lost her first four WTA matches on grass and was winless before her surprising run to last year's semifinals, where she lost to eventual winner Serena Williams.

Was she a quick study? Or was she built for the surface?

Martina Navratilova says when grass was slicker and bounces more irregular, instinct played a bigger role in determining success. But the nine-time Wimbledon singles winner said skills could also be cultivated.

"It's both," said the Czech-born American, who won the last of her titles in 1990 - the year Kvitova was born. "I think the best athletes come through more because they're able to adapt to the bad bounce, to awkward shots, to playing an all around game more than the baseliners. I mean, it's more instinctual in that you don't have as many choices on grass. It's key not to overthink it too much and play by instinct, so maybe you're right. In a roundabout way, it comes to that."

To be sure, power tennis pays off at Wimbledon. Kvitova smacked 19 winners to Sharapova's 10, and committed just one more unforced error (13-12).

"Grass has always rewarded big hitting," says Fernandez, who also comments for ESPN. "That's why the Williams sisters have dominated for so long. (Kvitova) hits hard, flat, stays low, and has the lefty factor to swing opponents wide or hit serves into the body."

In some ways, Kvitova is a Johnny-come-lately.

Most of today's pros are swatting balls for hours well before their 12th birthday under the watchful eyes of eager parents or at tennis academies. Kvitova, who idolized Navratilova, trained until 16 at her small Czech town of 6,000 residents, which had four tennis courts.

She was coached by her non-tennis-playing father and hit with her brothers, usually for only an hour or two after school.
Encouraged by the head of the prestigious tennis club at Prostejov, Kvitova began driving to the center where other top Czech players such as 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych and top-25 player Lucie Safarova developed their games.

The 6-1 player progressed quickly — so quickly she sounded shocked that she had become the third Czech woman after Navratilova and Jana Novotna to own the Venus Rosewater dish five years after taking up the sport in earnest.

"I didn't think that I can win Wimbledon (so soon)," she told a small group of reporters a few hours after her win.

Still, she knew there was something on the lawns of London that suited her game.

She won her first tournament on grass — an International Tennis Federation junior event at Roehampton in 2007 — and the next week reached the last 16 at Wimbledon's junior event.

"I remember when I was serving it was problem for the other players," said Kvitova, "and I played so fast."

Her coach, David Kotyza, explained that Kvitova had the game for grass despite her early stumbles on the pro tour, including back-to-back first-round loses here in 2008-09.

He said Kvitova was young when she lost in 2008 and was coming off an ankle injury when she did the same in 2009.

"The capability was there," Kotyza said.
If she had the game to excel on grass from the get go, she was also a quick study. She proved that by backing up her semifinal showing at the All-England Club last year by reaching the final of the grass-court tune-up at Eastbourne this month.

Kvitova, now 4-1 in finals this year, doesn't fear the big stage. She said Saturday she likes "big matches" and believed she could win Wimbledon.

Kotyza explained that when he started working with her three years ago her game was uneven, but her self-belief was rock solid.

"In mental, she was totally a champion," he said.
The Czech is likely also benefitting from another trend: the homogenization and slowing down of surfaces, which makes it easier for a one-style-fits-all game.

"I don't feel they are playing anymore a specific grass-court type of play," said 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, who like Kvitova won her maiden grass court title at Wimbledon.

When France's Mauresmo won, however, she did so by varying the spins and pace off her one-handed backhand and following her serve to the net.

"You see today, they stay back, they don't use slice," she said. "They play very much the same style."

Conchita Martinez, the crafty Spaniard who also varied tempo and spin and grew up on clay, agreed that both nature and nurture can come into play. She said she detested grass at first but kept an open mind.

"It's great if you have an instinct to play," said the 1994 Wimbledon winner. "Someone who hits the ball hard and flat is going to have a better time out there. But you can learn."

MORE: Kvitova conquers Sharapova in women's final
COLUMN: Kvitova emerges as newest big hitter
PHOTOS: The best images from the All England Club

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PS Guys:

Lindsay Davenport had said on her Twitter account after the final "Did you guys see Petra? Stunning. It was the first time I was able to see her in person. I can see why people compare her to me. She's definitely the best ball striker out there".

Interesting, since when Lindsay was asked about her during the French Open, she had said "I really don't know much about Petra Kvitova (despite the fact that Martina and Sam Smith of the BBC, two people she works with, both loved Petra at the time)". Lol.

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Great job on all the articles. Ha, guess Lindsay quickly formed an opinion after seeing Petra in person for the first time.

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US Fed Cup Captain and ESPN Analyst Mary Joe Fernandez, when covering the Wimby women finals, told a story about Petra Kvitova from 2009.

She said when she was Fed Cup captain and playing the Czech Republic a couple of years ago, the coach put in the lower ranked player. Fernandez thought that was odd in such a fierce competition, and after the tournament she went to the coach and asked, "why'd you put that young lady in?". Fernandez said the coach replied "That girl, will be our best Player, She's got a great future".

Fernandez ended by saying "so they knew even back then, as Petra Kvitova shows us today, by being in the Wimbledon final".

True story. If you're in America, you can catch it (the final) on ESPN 3, along with her other 6 Wimby matches.

Mary Jo made the comment at 23.30 running time in the final.
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