The 2011 Ladies' Singles final takes place
at SW19 on Saturday afternoon
24-year-old, Maria Sharapova takes on Czech
21-year-old, Petra Kvitova in the Wimbledon 2011 women's singles final. Sharapova has looked back to her very best at times,
but a powerful Kvitova will believe she can win her first Slam.
It was clear ahead of this event that
Sharapova was starting to play the type of tennis which could take her back to
the top end of the rankings again, but despite the favouritism shown to her by
the tennis handicappers, most experts probably felt she would not have the
mental strength to see it through to the final. Not only had it been seven
years since Sharapova had won this event but she had been placed in the tougher
half of the draw, with the likes of World No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki and
defending Wimbledon Champion, Serena Williams. To come through such a tricky
draw without the loss of a set shows just why the bookmakers have her as a firm
favourite for tomorrow’s game, but in Petra Kvitova, Sharapova faces a real
challenge and the only real difference I can see, in terms of the tennis
betting odds, is that Sharapova has been there and done it before. With three
Grand Slams to her name, Sharapova should be able to use her experience in the
Petra will feel she has a real chance in this final, and if she can hold
her nerve in the big points and stick to her game plan, then she definitely can
win her first major title. A defeated finalist at Eastbourne, Kvitova breezed
through the opening week of Wimbledon, without
the loss of a set, playing a powerful and unforgiving brand of tennis.
The first sign of weakness came in her
quarter-final match with Pironkova, when some wayward forehands and rushed
serving saw her lose the second set. A similar thing happened in the
semi-finals with Victoria Azarenka and after storming to a comprehensive first
set win, she just didn’t look herself in the second.
The good news for Kvitova fans is that on
both occasions the German managed to regain her composure and come back to win
in the decider. Similar may be required of her tomorrow and she could be better
for the experience.
These two have met on just one previous
occasion and it was Sharapova who came out on top. A straight sets semi-final
victory in Memphis (2010) is the only experience these two have of each other,
so the start of this match could be unpredictable as both plays attempt to
familiarise themselves with the other’s style of play.
The serve is going to be a huge factor in
who comes out on top in this one. Both players hit monster serves but it is
Sharapova who’s serve maybe looks a little more fragile. Double faults have
plagued the Russian throughout her career and although she feels they’re a
necessary evil if she’s to achieve Grand Slam success, she’ll surely have to
cut down on the number of doubles. At the same time, Kvitova has been the most
punishing returner of serve at SW19 and if Sharapova goes easy on her second
serve, she could be in trouble.
Kvitova’s serve has held her in good stead
through the tournament and in the close matches she had against Pironkova and
Azarenka, it was her reliable serve which got her out of trouble. If she can
consistently serve well in the final, she will cause problems for Sharapova.
This is a very tough one to call and will
be more about how each player performs tomorrow than where they are ranked or
how they’ve done before. Both women have huge strengths but where Kvitova can be
let down by her rushed approach and over-hit forehands, Sharapova can throw
away service games in a flash, if she loses focus and gets frustrated.
The experience is with Sharapova but I’m
not convinced it’ll be Kvitova who suffers more with nerves. It has taken Maria
Sharapova such a long time to get back to this place in her career and it may
feel like as much of a new experience to her as it does to Kvitova.
Meanwhile, whilst Kvitova is sure to be
full of nervous energy at the outset of the match, she could well settle down
the more confident and start to feel she is in a position where she has nothing
I’ve backed Petra Kvitova since the start
of this event and no matter how well Sharapova has played, I’m certain Kvitova
can cause her major problems in the final.
Petra Kvitova to win Wimbledon 2011 at betting odds of 11/8 with Paddy Power
Set betting – Kvitova 2-1 at tennis odds of 4/1 with William