Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard will play for the women's championship at the All England Club on Saturday. Both women have been dominant en route to this point.
That dominance extended to Thursday's semifinals matchups.
Focused and Aggressive
This is proving to be a breakout year for Bouchard. She will join the top 10 of the WTA rankings when this tournament is over—win or lose on Saturday. Bouchard has reached at least the semifinals in all three Grand Slams this year.
After dropping No. 3 Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Thursday, she's vying for her first Grand Slam title.
Bouchard didn't let the fact that she was facing her second straight higher-ranked opponent get to her. She went about her business with confidence and conviction.
Halep is having a great year herself, but Bouchard clearly showed which of the two young women was best prepared to shine at Wimbledon.
Bouchard's aggressive style, poise and Kobe Bryant-like confidence was apparent throughout. She is so commanding on the court, and this approach seems to break the will of her opponents.
Thursday's triumph over Halep was just the latest example. John Branch of The New York Times wrote this about the up-and-coming star:
As opposed to many of today’s players, content to trade big strokes from beyond the baseline, Bouchard rarely plays outside the court. She challenges even the hardest servers and hitters, smothering their attacks with offensive strokes. Like a military general, she treats the court as contested ground, pushing forward and hoping to push her opponent back.
The results are clear to see when you look at the match statistics, per Wimbledon.com. Bouchard doesn't like long points, and her attacking style often limits rallies to three shots or less.
In these instances, Halep won just 24 percent of the points.
You know, it’s not like a surprise to me. I expect good results like this. So for me, I was like, ‘OK, good. It’s a step in the right direction. I get to play in the final.’ I still have another match, so it’s not a full celebration yet.
Perhaps a huge win on Centre Court Saturday would bring a flood of emotions.
Power and Resolve
Kvitova isn't the darling of the tennis world like Bouchard, but her best tennis may very well be ahead of her as well. At just 24, she's already tasted Grand Slam success having won Wimbledon in 2011.
This year, her power game has been in full effect in London.
In fact, Venus Williams—another power player—was the only opponent capable of taking a set and pushing Kvitova throughout the match. Lucie Safarova was Kvitova's opposition in the semifinals, and despite the two ladies' friendship, Kvitova was merciless in her pursuit of the finals.
She won 7-6 (6), 6-1.
The first set was a difficult one, as Safarova pushed Kvitova to a tiebreaker. However, the second frame was a complete rout. Kvitova won all four of her points at the net and dominated off her first and second serves.
She broke Safarova twice in the set and coasted to the straight-sets win.
As good as Kvitova has been in London, her performance is being a bit overshadowed by Bouchard. Can she shift all the focus on her with a win on Saturday? We'll have to wait and see.