October 31st, 2014
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It is an all-Czech battle in the semi final of Wimbledon in the bottom half of the women’s draw.
2011 winner Petra Kvitova continued her pretty smooth progress as he she beat fellow countrywoman Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in their quarter final match. It was pretty smooth and unfettered progress that sixth seed Kvitova took as well, winning in straight sets after dropping just one game in the opener. With the big seeds of Serena Williams, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Sharapova having all fallen by the wayside, Kvitova is favourite to now lift the title for the second time.
Of all the Grand Slams, Wimbledon is where Kvitova has shone the brightest. She hasn’t failed to at least make the quarter finals in her last five appearances now. She has a great affinity with the green grass of SW19 and she is heavy odds-on favourite to see off the challenge of Safarova in the semi finals. Aside from a three set match against Venus Williams in the third round, Kvitova has been on cruise control pretty much and is going to take some stopping.
Five times Safarova has gone up against Kvitova in her career and the world number 23 has yet to post a win over her compatriot. They have squared off four times already this season, with Kvitova just having too much for Safarova, although their most recent meeting on grass at Eastbourne, did get pushed to a close three set match in the end, as Safarova hung around and fought back well.
But Kvitova will have to be wary of all the seeds which have been upset so far. But there is a difference with her, as she is looking relaxed and at ease with herself and her game. She doesn’t look to be stressing over anything, not taking any of the pressure on board and is getting back to her best. This is a massive chance for her now to land a second career Grand Slam title and surely she isn’t going to let slip the chance to return to the final?
As for Safarova this is far and away her best ever run at Wimbledon. Her prior best performance was a run to the 3rd round in 2007 and has come through some trials, beating Julie Goerges, Polona Hercog and Dominika Cibulkova along the way and she has yet to drop a set. This is her best chance ever of making it to the final of a Grand Slam. Big pressure occasion though being the semi final of a Grand Slam for the first time ever. Is that going to be a step too far for the underdog? Her record against Kvitova may suggest so.