Live Blog: 2014 Women’s Wimbledon Final

Good morning! Amy and Jeff are here to live-blog the 2014 Wimbledon final between Petra Kvitova and Genie Bouchard.

Amy: Our commentator just said that Petra Kvitova is “6 foot 8.” I know she’s tall, but that seems wrong.

Kvitova and Bouchard have only played each other once before, Kvitova beating Bouchard, 6-3, 6-2, in the Rogers Cup last year.

Bouchard is serving first. She holds pretty easily for 1-0.

Jeff: We’re going to try to talk about the match here, even though it will surely be tempting to make fun of everything John McEnroe says for the next two hours.

Amy: Making us feel old:

Kvitova crushes a couple of Bouchard’s second serves to earn the first break point of the match, but Bouchard saves it. After an unforced error and a ridiculous forehand from Kvitova, she breaks for a 2-1 lead.

Jeff: Genie is a bit overwhelmed by the power coming her way right now, but she doesn’t seem bothered by facing a lefty. She’s won her last four matches against left-handers, including two routine wins against Angelique Kerber. Of course, Kerber doesn’t hit like Petra is right now.

Amy: Leave it to the British press:

Jeff: So far, Kvitova is just taking the game out of Genie’s hands. We know Bouchard will try to play aggressively early in points, but Petra is getting there first, and we’ve seen a few points already where Genie is trying too hard too early.

Amy: Kvitova breaks for a 3-1 lead with an absolutely ridiculous point. Bouchard doesn’t put away a smash, and Kvitova makes her pay with a precise passing shot.

Bouchard saves three more break points on her serve to hold for 2-3. Big hold for her to keep the set within reach. We know that Kvitova can go off the rails at any time.

Jeff: The ESPN commentators are advocating the idea of moving forward on grass. Groundbreaking stuff.

Amy: I’m hungry.

Jeff: Bouchard is simply overwhelmed right now, and it’s starting to show up in her body language. Trying to chase down these backhands of Petra’s would demoralize just about anyone.

Amy: Kvitova breaks for 5-2, and it looks like this set is out of Bouchard’s hands.

ESPN3 is constantly playing some ad with a bizarre Sugar Ray ripoff song. It’s highly disturbing.

Of course, after I say that the set is basically Kvitova’s, Bouchard recovers one of the breaks. Still, Kvitova leads 5-3, and she easily smothers Bouchard to break for the set, 6-3.

Jeff: During the break between sets, Amy will be looking at that cupcake picture some more.

Amy: And Jeff will be looking at this adorable cat picture.

Jeff: For all the “P3tra” jokes, Kvitova is 54-8 at slams after winning the first set, and she only needed a third set to finish off 12 of those 54 wins. If this goes three, it may have more to do with Genie–in her young Grand Slam career, she is a stunning 5-4 after losing the first set.

Amy: Here are some first set stats for you:

The one-way traffic continues. Kvitova cleans the baseline with another perfect return, and breaks for 2-0 in the second set.

Meanwhile, ESPN should really get Kevin Skinner to spice things up, because this match is a little dull.

Jeff: The consensus on my Twitter timeline seems to be that Kvitova is bound to go away, or go nuts, or something. Petra is making the opposite argument very convincingly.

Amy: Bouchard has a chance to hold, but Kvitova gets to deuce with another insane point, and subsequently breaks for 4-0. I’m not sure Bouchard is even playing that badly, but Kvitova seemingly can’t miss right now.

Jeff: The ESPN commentator just said Petra’s playing “some of the best tennis [she’s] ever seen.” I don’t know whether she meant Petra specifically, but it raises an interesting point. Could anybody beat Kvitova the way she’s playing today?

Amy: I don’t think they could. Kvitova seals it with another backhand winner. Your 2014 Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova. Incredible stuff from her.

Jeff: Fittingly, Petra seals it with a backhand crosscourt winner, one of so many devastating shots she hit in less than an hour on court today. People will look at the scoreline and wonder why Bouchard didn’t show up, but that’s not fair to either player–you’ll rarely see tennis played at a higher level than Petra’s performance today.

4 Responses

  1. Joshua
    Joshua July 5, 2014 at 8:01 pm |

    The stuff Kvitova unleashed today was terrifying.

    I know that blowouts are considered by most people to be boring, but this was the kind of blow out that just makes my heart race. Obviously, tight, competitive, nervy matches like Sharapova def. Halep a month ago are amazing. But watching a player reach insane levels of ability and utterly obliterating her competition is one of things that makes sports so intensely gratifying. Very often in these sorts of matches (a major champion against a first-time finalist) the lopsided score is as much about the defeated player being overwhelmed and anxious as it is about the winner playing completely out of her mind. But occasionally to have a match that in which the defeated player simply played no role. Bouchard did not play badly. Kvitova just didn’t let her play. And on almost all the occasions when Bouchard managed to take the upper ground in a point, Kvitova fired off some sort of transdimensional wizardess winner.

    I will admit I was one of those people who was very high on Kvitova’s post-2011 prospects (I may or may not have coined the phrase Kvitorenkan Hegemony to describe what I thought the next few years of tennis would look like. Sorry Serena!) and have been a little disappointed in how long it took her to recover from winning. But, man, this was worth it.

    The question to me now is: does Kvitova finally winning another major open the dam or does she turn into a different style of Kuznetsova — capable of turning into the best player in game for two weeks, but always without warning and never frequently?

    As for Bouchard — I’m deeply impressed by her confidence and unapologetic ambition, but the real test of how good she is, and how determined and “mature” she is, will be how she handles making it to, and losing, a major final.

  2. Joshua
    Joshua July 5, 2014 at 11:50 pm |

    Also, the “born in the 90s” thing doesn’t make me feel old at all. If anything it makes me feel young! An all-90s final shouldn’t happened 6-8 years ago — or would have if the trend of youth had continued from the 80s and 90s. Petra Kvitova is 24. She was born in March of 1990. She’s still the only player born in that decade to win a major and she was born two months into it (although, to be fair, I’m one of those pedants who insists that decades begin in years ending with 1, so 1990 is was the last year of the decade we call “the 80s” so there’s a case to be made that no player born in the 90s has won a major at all!) All the major winners of the last few years have been in their late 20s (or 30s!) which is just stunning. Especially when you think of the women’s game which has produced quite a few one-major winners in the last eight years.

  3. patrick of la verne
    patrick of la verne July 7, 2014 at 12:46 am |

    Kudos to Petra for a great tournament.

    It should be pointed out, however, that Serena Williams is 15-0 against the four semifinalists at this year’s Wimbledon. 6-0 vs Safarova, 5-0 vs Kvitova, 3-0 vs Halep and 1-0 vs Bouchard.

    I think it’s extremely unlikely that any player of the Open era, male or female, could boast a similar record against any year’s set of semi-finalists

    Not quite sure what’s going on with her, but I don’t think we’ve heard the last from her yet.

  4. Sree Kumar
    Sree Kumar July 16, 2014 at 2:24 am |

    It was mesmerising to watch Kvitova play. I wish she keeps this up for the rest of the season. Got to love her flat forehands hitting through the ball. Very few players do that in the mens or the women’s Tour.

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