Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova have a few things in common: both women are Czech, both are lefties, and both like to hit the ball hard. They even train at the same club. But there are plenty of differences too. Safarova's current WTA ranking is 23 and her career high is 17 while Kvitova is currently 6 with a career high of 2. Safarova's previous best Grand Slam singles finish was two fourth round appearances at Roland Garros while Kvitova has a Wimbledon Championship along with three Slam semifinal appearances and three Slam quarterfinal appearances. And most telling of all, Petra Kvitova also owns a 5-0 record against her countrywoman, though their last meeting on the grass at Eastbourne was very close. Yesterday's match turned out to be competitive—especially in the first set—but not surprising as Kvitova came through in straight sets and will contest her second Major final.
Dramatic Finish for Bouchard
The Eugenie Bouchard/Simona Halep match seemed on paper to be a bit more even than the Safarova/Kvitova match. Both players are having career years, but Halep's has perhaps been slightly better. She's climbed all the way to number 3 in the world (Bouchard is 13) and she reached her first Grand Slam final last month at Roland Garros. In the end, though, it was Bouchard who came out on top despite some dramatic twists and turns during the match. Halep grabbed the early break in the first set, but was broken back immediately, twisting her ankle in the process. She immediately called for the trainer and seemed well enough, eventually pushing the first set to a tiebreak. Then, in the midst of the tiebreak, play had to stop when someone in the crowd began feeling ill. Bouchard did take the tiebreak and took control of the second set as well, but the drama wasn't over. As Halep prepared to deliver her serve on match point, Bouchard appeared suddenly distracted by something in the crowd and tried to hold her hand up to stop play but it was too late. Halep's serve whizzed by and Bouchard had a discussion with the umpire about replaying the point, but to no avail. Halep held on and forced Bouchard to serve out the match. She did just that and will move on to face Kvitova in her first Grand Slam final.
The unseasonably warm weather also had an effect on the fans viewing the doubles. A fan fainted early in the proceedings of Leander Paes' and Radek Stepanek's doubles quarterfinal. At 2-2 in the first set, Paes noticed a fan sliding out of his seat and quickly alerted the umpire and a steward before passing a bottle of cold water into the crowd for the stricken spectator. Paes and Stepanek went on to win their match in four sets. They'll next face the North American duo of Vasek Pospisil (Canada) and Jack Sock (United States) with a spot in the finals on the line.
Could History Repeat?
If you haven't heard it already, here's a little fact for the superstitious folks. Ten years ago, Maria Sharapova captured her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. She was the 13th seed… Just like Genie Bouchard.