Wimbledon 2011 Women's Final: Live Updates, Analysis for Sharapova vs. Kvitova
At 9 a.m. eastern time Saturday morning, the Wimbledon women’s final gets underway on Centre Court.
We will provide play-by-play starting shortly before the match begins between the No. 5 seed, Russian Maria Sharapova, and the No. 7 seed, Czech Petra Kvitova.
It promises to be a very exciting match.
NBC will provide television coverage, live—no tape delay this time.
This year the All England Club is celebrating 125 years of tennis excellence. The Championship was first held in 1877, but that event was only for the men.
The first women’s champion, Maud Watson, was crowned in 1884, seven years after the first men's champion had his name etched in the history books.
Both Sharapova and Kvitova are baseliners with big serves and powerful forehands. The outcome will depend on Sharapova’s ability to keep her first-serve percentage high. The Russian must serve well to have a chance to win her second Wimbledon title.
For Kvitova, who moves far better than the Russian and serves equally well, the ability of the Czech to hold her nerve will be paramount. If she allows doubt to creep into her game, Sharapova will pounce.
It is a big moment for both ladies. The will to win the match must go to Sharapova while the overall quality of play goes to Kvitova.
Stay tuned on Saturday morning for the play-by-play.
First set goes to Kvitova 6-3.
The second set also goes to Kvitova 6-4.
Petra Kvitova wins in straight sets capturing her first grand slam championship and her first Wimbledon title.
The match is moving quickly now to an inevitable conclusion.
Kvitova consolidates her break of serve to go up 5-3.
Sharapova serves at 3-5 to stay in the match. She holds at love.
Kvitova will now serve to take the 2011 Wimbledon Championship.
She stands a minimum of five strokes away from taking the match and winning her first grand slam title.
Up 30-0, the tension begins to mount but the Czech tries to stay calm.
At 40 love, Kvitova has four match points on her serve. Her first ace of the day wins her the title!
She takes the match on her first chance ––winning the 2011 Wimbledon Championship!!
Sharapova is in a fight for her life in this match, this tournament.
Kvitova serves in game seven to hold onto her advantage. But Sharapova fights back taking the game to deuce.
Over anxious, Kvitova misses a couple of easy shots. Sharapova breaks back.
The second set is now level at 3-3.
Now Sharapova must hold onto her serve.
Down 15-40, can the Russian do it?
Sharapova saves one break point. 30-40. But no, Kvitova breaks again going up 4-3.
Neither woman seems to be able to hang onto her respective serve.
Somebody must step forward in this set.
With the match level at 2-2, Sharapova serves. Sharapova is hitting some unbelievable angles with terrific defense trying to hold onto her serve.
Nothing comes easy for the former Wimbledon champion as the Czech punishes any short ball. The ball comes back at her before Sharapova can blink.
Fortunately, Sharapova finds a way to serve big when she needs to in game five, getting herself out of some serious trouble time after time.
Deuce No. 3 hits the center line to give Sharapova another game point.
But Kvitova holds on. She finally breaks Sharapova to go up 3-2.
Sharapova holds her serve finally in the third game of set two. She is still down a break at 2-1 as Kvitova gets ready to serve.
Martina Navratilova is on hand to watch the final.
Navratilova was the last lefty to win the Wimbledon trophy, which she held aloft nine times. Kvitova is a fan of the former Czech native, Navratilova.
Sharapova digs in to get the break of serve back in game four.
The Russian levels the set at 2-2, breaking the Kvitova serve.
Sharapova serves to open the second set. This will test the level of her resolve. Can Sharapova fight her way back into this match?
Certainly, Kvitova has shown she is not intimidated by her opponent or the occasion. The Czech is a better natural athlete than Sharapova if a tiny bit slow moving forward at times.
She breaks the Sharapova serve in the opening game of the second set. Sharapova must break back.
Kvitova appears on fire now. The Czech serves to go up 2-0 in the second set, after winning the opening set 6-3.
Sharapova finally serves it out to win game eight.
Kvitova serves for the opening set at 5-3.
Going up 40-0, Kvitova holds her serve at love and wins the opening set 6-3!
On to set two.
In game seven with Kvitova served to consolidate her break. The Czech contains her nerve and holds on, going up 5-2.
Kvitova is one game away from taking the first set from the former Wimbledon champion, Sharapova.
It is imperative that Sharapova hold serve in game eight.
The game goes to deuce. Both women are fighting hard hitting the ball hard and flat.
Second deuce on Sharapova's serve brings a mishit with Kvitova gaining a set point.
An ace from Sharpova saves the set point.
Sharapova also holds in game four, leveling the set at 2-2.
Both players appear to have set their jitters aside and are now settled into the match.
The wide lefty serve pulls Sharapova way off the court, but the Russian moves well to cover. It will be a concern for Sharapova throughout the match to try to contain the serving prowess of Kvitova.
Plus, Sharapova must continue to serve well. Early on the long rallies were going to Sharapova but the Czech appears to be handling the long points better as the match wears on.
After holding in game five, Kvitova has a break opportunity in game six. Sharapova double faults and Kvitova goes up 4-2 in set one.
After being broken in her opening service game, Kvitova breaks the Sharapova serve in game two.
Sharapova possesses an iron will to succeed. She will nothing get in her way to win this title.
The only way to stop Sharapova is to come at her with both barrels blazing because that is what it will take. Timidity and patience will do nothing against Sharapova's big game.
The big lefty serve of the Czech inflicts some damage as the match progresses. Kvitova's movement is a bit suspect in the early going.
Sharapova is pouncing on second serves. But Kvitova holds onto her serve in game three, up 2-1 and on serve now.
Wecome to a bird's eye view of Centre Court at Wimbledon where the two ladies have entered ready to do battle for the 2011 Championship.
Both Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharpova take the court caressing huge bouquets of flowers, another wonderful tradition of the Wimbledon experience.
Dressed in white, the two ladies face a stadium filled with tennis fans and dignitaries.
Maria Sharapova wins the coin toss and elects to receive. That has been her forte throughout the tournament. Plus the veteran will be hoping the Czech will be a bit nervous in the opening moments of the match.
The weather is glorious. The rain that complicated matters earlier in the fortnight is gone.
Play is underway at 10 past the hour with Kvitova serving.
Sharapova breaks the Kvitova serve in the opening game. Her strategy is working so far.
Kvitova will try to return the favor in the second game.
Play gets underway shortly as the two Wimbledon finalists, 2004 Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova and first time finalist, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic do battle on Centre Court for the 2011 Wimbledon Women's Championship.
Regardless of the “newness” of her status as a top 10 player, Petra Kvitova is the “real deal.” She has game to spare on the grass and more talent than any other woman playing grass court tennis today, except maybe Venus and Serena Williams, if the sisters were in top form.
Kvitova is a Wimbledon semifinalist for the second consecutive year.
The Czech turned professional in 2006. Currently ranked World No. 8, Kvitova comes into the Wimbledon final with four WTA titles. If you recall, the Czech won the title at the Madrid Masters this year on clay defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final.
Earlier she won the title in Brisbane prior to the Australian Open overcoming Andrea Petkovic. Following the Australian Open, Kvitova won on the hard courts in Paris, the Open GDF Suez––over Kim Clijsters.
Sharapova, on the other hand, has captured 23 WTA titles, including three grand slam wins since she turned professional in 2001. Sharapova has not, however, played in a grand slam final since the 2008 Australian Open after suffering a shoulder injury.
Undergoing surgery in 2008 to repair a torn rotator cuff, Sharapova has struggled to return to form. It looks as though the Russian is almost back to her pre-injury playing level.
The two women met previously at the 2010 Cellular South Cup semifinals. Sharapova won 6-4, 6-3
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