After nearly two weeks of matches, upsets and surprises, the ladies' final for 2014 Wimbledon in London was set with relative ease by the two participants. Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard each won their semifinal match in straight sets.
However, that stat is slightly deceiving, as both women needed a tiebreak in the first set before kicking things into high gear in the second set. Lucie Safarova and Simona Halep certainly earned their moment in the semifinals, but Kvitova and Bouchard have been the two best players at the All England Club.
Making this final match more appealing is how it represents tennis' past and future. Kvitova is the seasoned veteran at age 24—an unusual statement, but not unearned given what we know about tennis careers. The 2011 Wimbledon champion goes up against the 20-year-old Bouchard, who is making her first appearance in a Grand Slam final.
|Match||Date, Time (ET)||Network|
|No. 6 Petra Kvitova vs. No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard||Saturday, July 5 at 9 a.m.; Match replay at 3 p.m.||ESPN; Replay airs on ABC|
Kvitova and Bouchard have taken different paths to get here. Kvitova has largely managed to avoid elite competition, beating just two ranked opponents (Safarova and Venus Williams) en route to her second Wimbledon final.
Bouchard, on the other hand, has played a ranked opponent in each of her last four matches and two Top 10 players (Halep and Angelique Kerber) in making her way to her first Grand Slam final.
Sports Illustrated's Tennis Twitter account also pointed out that Bouchard's win over Halep was the first of its kind for the Canadian star:
Eugenie Bouchard is into her first Wimbledon final after beating No. 3 Simona Halep for her first top five win. http://t.co/VmwTTMa0od— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) July 3, 2014
Whose legacy will be helped more by winning?
Bouchard also has yet to be tested in a match. She's had two tiebreaker sets through five rounds but hasn't dropped a set.
On the other side, Kvitova's only significant challenge was against Williams, who had the lefty on the ropes by winning the first set and sent the second to a tiebreaker. Since then Kvitova's won six straight sets.
This isn't a fluke for Kvitova, either. She's always shined at this event, more than any other for whatever reason. Her record at Wimbledon is a stellar 25-5, and the weaknesses in her game seem to dissipate on the grass.
The win over Safarova wasn't Kvitova's cleanest match of the tournament, as the stats from Wimbledon's Twitter account show, but she just overpowered her opponent:
If everything is equal, Kvitova is the more dangerous player because of her powerful serve and ability to overpower an opponent on grass. There's just been too many moments where the Czech Republic star loses her game and comes undone.
Bouchard hasn't had those problems at all in this tournament. This will be her coronation, which is fitting since it will come in front of the Royal Family.
Prediction: Bouchard in three sets
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