No. 6 seed Petra Kvitova advanced to her second career Wimbledon final on Thursday afternoon, knocking off fellow Czech and No. 23 seed Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Kvitova defeated Safarova 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 in 80 minutes.
Coming into the match, most expected that Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, would have a walkover on her way to the final.
Safarova, making the first Grand Slam semifinal appearance of her career, had never beaten Kvitova in five previous matches, and she entered as a heavy underdog.
But she didn’t play that way in the opening set.
Kvitova broke Safarova in the very first game of the match, and it seemed that all the prognostications would prove correct. She opened up a 2-0 first-set lead while her opponent struggled with early jitters.
Safarova finally found her rhythm in the third game of the first set, holding serve to get on the board and then getting the break back on Kvitova’s next game to even the set.
The two ladies traded games for the remainder of the first set, both refusing to back down and forcing a tiebreak to settle matters.
In a back-and-forth affair, it was Kvitova who would capture the tiebreak 8-6, and from there it was off to the races.
Safarova, clearly demoralized by coming so close in the first set, fell behind early in the second and never recovered. She was broken twice and went down with little resistance.
With the win, Kvitova advances to Saturday’s ladies’ final where she will face the winner of Thursday’s second semifinal between No. 3 Simona Halep and No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard.