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Best of Day 12: Kvitova shines, Bryan brothers shocked

Petra Kvitova falls to the ground after winning the Ladies' Singles Final
by Nicholas McCarvel
Saturday 5 July 2014

Three years later, Petra Kvitova delivered another stunning result.

The Czech, who had struggled since winning at Wimbledon in 2011, brushed aside any one-hit wonder talk on Saturday, beating Genie Bouchard soundly in a match that lasted less than an hour. Later in the afternoon, one top-notch doubles team completed a career Grand Slam as another was denied a further record. That and more in the best of Day 12.

Match of the Day: [6] Petra Kvitova d [13] Genie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0
Was that the best match of Kvitova’s life? If it wasn’t, the only better one was the Czech player’s triumph here in 2011, when she won the title with a straight-sets win against Maria Sharapova.

From the beginning, Bouchard never got the chance to display whether she was nervous or not, Kvitova cracking winners from the baseline, including a running crosscourt backhand passing shot that may have been the best stroke of the tournament.

Kvitova’s sheer force was on display throughout as she hit 17 winners in the first set and then blasted 11 more in the second, finishing out the 55-minute effort by falling to the floor, her performance overwhelming.

The 24-year-old won in the first major final she’s played in since capturing the Wimbledon title here three years ago, capitalising on the golden opportunity when she had it.

It wasn’t to be for Bouchard, who had steamrolled her way through the draw without dropping a set en route to the final. The 20-year-old was seeking just her second career title as a pro, but the brute force and consistency on this day from Kvitova was just too much.

Kvitova becomes the seventh No.6 seed to win a Grand Slam title in a major (most recently Serena Williams in 2012 at Wimbledon). The meeting marked the first final between two players born in the 1990s, and was the youngest for total age (44) since 2008.

Kvitova’s three-set triumph over Venus Williams in the third round was the only deciding set she had to play in the fortnight, a battle many called the match of the tournament – on the men’s or the women’s side.

Honorary Match of the Day: Jack Sock/Vasek Pospisil d Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Saturday ended with a shock. First-time partners Sock and Pospisil completed their fairytale run through the men’s doubles draw with a dramatic five-set win over the most successful team in history, beating the Americans just shy of 8.30pm.

Sock and Pospisil become the first team to win a Grand Slam in their first major together (or any tournament, for that matter) since Lleyton Hewitt and Max Mirnyi completed such a feat in 2000 at the US Open.

The American-Canadian duo played a high-quality affair with the Bryan brothers, who were defending champions here and riding a 16-match win streak at the All England Club after the twins won the 2012 London Olympics, as well. On their fifth match point, Sock closed it out, nailing a serve from Mike down the line for an outright winner.

Grand Slam Finish: [2] Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci d [14] Timea Babos/Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 6-3
Never before champions at the All England Club, the Italian pair of Errani and Vinci changed that on Saturday afternoon and booked their place in history with the win, completing a career Slam. The pair did it in just over two years, having won the first of their total five majors at the French Open in 2012.

In the final, the all-court team was too much for Babos/Mladenovic, a hard-hitting pair that had stormed their way through the draw, including a third-round win over top seeds and defending champions Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai.

Errani/Vinci celebrated by dropping their rackets on the ground and throwing their hands in the air.

Photo of the Day (above): You can’t blame Petra for wanting to have a lie-down on Centre Court, can you?

Tweets of the Day:

'Did you just see?' of the Day: It was a glimpse of what was to come from Kvitova early in the match, when she ended this 13-ball rally with one of the best shots of the tournament to hold for 3-1 up in the first set.

 

Quote of the Day: Were you unsure if Kvitova wanted this title as much as Bouchard? Think again.

"I love to play finals. I love to play on the big stadium. This is something really special... Definitely I was in the zone, but I was still thinking it is the final and I knew the emotion. I can say it's a little bit like a Fed Cup when I'm playing in the Czech and I feel the crowd. My stomach is a little bit funny. It just gave me goosebumps."

Stat of the Day: With the win in women's doubles, Errani and Vinci become the first Italians to win a Wimbledon title in the senior ranks - ever.  

Video of the Day: Petra addresses the crowd after her big win.


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