Petra Kvitova claims all-Czech semifinal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia blows kisses to the fans as he celebrates winning the Wimbledon title after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia blows kisses to the fans as he celebrates winning the Wimbledon title after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia eats some of the centre court grass after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia eats some of the centre court grass after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after her victory in the Ladies' Singles final against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy after her victory in the Ladies' Singles final against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Petra Kvitova plays a forehand return during the Ladies' Singles final.
Petra Kvitova plays a forehand return during the Ladies' Singles final.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the women's singles final.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard with the runner-up trophy after the women's singles final against Petra Kvitova.
Eugenie Bouchard with the runner-up trophy after the women's singles final against Petra Kvitova.
Eugenie Bouchard hits a forehand during the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard hits a forehand during the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard at full stretch during the women's final.
Eugenie Bouchard at full stretch during the women's final.
Making it into the Wimbledon final meant much to Novak Djokovic.
Making it into the Wimbledon final meant much to Novak Djokovic.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov shows his athleticism in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov shows his athleticism in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer shows his classic grace on court in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer shows his classic grace on court in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer a crowd favourite at the All England Club where fans joined with him in celebrating his semifinal win.
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer a crowd favourite at the All England Club where fans joined with him in celebrating his semifinal win.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her Wimbledon match against Simona Halep of Romania.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her Wimbledon match against Simona Halep of Romania.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a return during her women's singles semi-final match against Simona Halep of Romania at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a return during her women's singles semi-final match against Simona Halep of Romania at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard blasted past Simona Halep after a first-set tiebreaker to reach the Wimbledon final.
Eugenie Bouchard blasted past Simona Halep after a first-set tiebreaker to reach the Wimbledon final.
Simona Halep (right) congratulates Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon semifinal.
Simona Halep (right) congratulates Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon semifinal.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her win over compatriot Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her win over compatriot Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Lucie Safarova stretches for a baseline forehand shot against Petra Kvitova.
Lucie Safarova stretches for a baseline forehand shot against Petra Kvitova.
It just wasn't Andy Murray's day as the Wimbledon defending champ was bundled out of the tournament in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov.
It just wasn't Andy Murray's day as the Wimbledon defending champ was bundled out of the tournament in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov.
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match-point against Andy Murray.
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match-point against Andy Murray.
Andy Murray sit dejected with a towel over his head after his Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarterfinals.
Andy Murray sit dejected with a towel over his head after his Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarterfinals.
Novak Djokovic wipes away sweat during a change of ends during his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic.
Novak Djokovic wipes away sweat during a change of ends during his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic.
Eugenie Bouchard serves during her quarterfinal victory over Angelique Kerber.
Eugenie Bouchard serves during her quarterfinal victory over Angelique Kerber.
Simona Halep reeled off the last 11 games in her quarterfinal against Sabine Lisicki to surge into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Simona Halep reeled off the last 11 games in her quarterfinal against Sabine Lisicki to surge into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Sabine Lisicki is at full stretch for a forehand stroke against Simona Halep.
Sabine Lisicki is at full stretch for a forehand stroke against Simona Halep.
Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal victory over Sabine Lisicki.
Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal victory over Sabine Lisicki.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts to winning the third set tie-break during his men's singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts to winning the third set tie-break during his men's singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand return during his clash with Spain's Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand return during his clash with Spain's Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios reacts during his fourth round singles match with Rafael Nadal.
Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios reacts during his fourth round singles match with Rafael Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates after his shock upset victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates after his shock upset victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia (left) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in their men's singles tennis match at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios of Australia (left) shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in their men's singles tennis match at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer stretches for a forehand during his domination of Tommy Robredo.
Roger Federer stretches for a forehand during his domination of Tommy Robredo.
Milos Raonic is fired up after his Canada Day victory over Kei Nishikori.
Milos Raonic is fired up after his Canada Day victory over Kei Nishikori.
Maria Sharapova saved six match points before eventually falling to Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
Maria Sharapova saved six match points before eventually falling to Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
Serena Williams is treated by medical staff before a women's double match with sister Venus (left).
Serena Williams is treated by medical staff before a women's double match with sister Venus (left).
Roger Federer needed just 94 minutes to finish off Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Roger Federer needed just 94 minutes to finish off Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Simona Halep became just the second Romanian, after Virginia Ruzici in 1978 and 1981, to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Simona Halep became just the second Romanian, after Virginia Ruzici in 1978 and 1981, to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his fourth round singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his fourth round singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Kevin Anderson of South Africa after their fourth round match on day seven at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Kevin Anderson of South Africa after their fourth round match on day seven at Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is dejected after losing her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is dejected after losing her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez of Spain hits a return to John Isner of the US during their men's singles match at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez of Spain hits a return to John Isner of the US during their men's singles match at Wimbledon.
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at Wimbledon.
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a forehand return during her fourth round match against Alize Cornet of France.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a forehand return during her fourth round match against Alize Cornet of France.
Rafa Nadal dropped the first set for the third straight match but rallied to win in four sets.
Rafa Nadal dropped the first set for the third straight match but rallied to win in four sets.
Maria Sharapova plays a forehand volley during her domination of American Alison Riske.
Maria Sharapova plays a forehand volley during her domination of American Alison Riske.
The Wimbledon logo is seen through raindrops at the All England Club.
The Wimbledon logo is seen through raindrops at the All England Club.
Rafa Nadal dries himself off during a changeover in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin.
Rafa Nadal dries himself off during a changeover in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin.
A security guard stands watch as the roof in closed due to rain on Wimbledon's centre court.
A security guard stands watch as the roof in closed due to rain on Wimbledon's centre court.
Spectators shield under umbrellas on the outside courts as rain disrupts play on day six.
Spectators shield under umbrellas on the outside courts as rain disrupts play on day six.
Andy Murray mowed past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the last 16.
Andy Murray mowed past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the last 16.
Novak Djokovic grimaces in pain after falling on his left shoulder diving for a shot.
Novak Djokovic grimaces in pain after falling on his left shoulder diving for a shot.
Tennis ball bra-wearing Wimbledon fans watch Andy Murray's match at an outdoor viewing area.
Tennis ball bra-wearing Wimbledon fans watch Andy Murray's match at an outdoor viewing area.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, roars after upsetting No 2 seed Li Na in the third round.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, roars after upsetting No 2 seed Li Na in the third round.
A Wimbledon line judge in action during a match between Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
A Wimbledon line judge in action during a match between Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match point in his victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match point in his victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Wimbledon centre court as seen from the cheap seats.
Wimbledon centre court as seen from the cheap seats.
Rafa Nadal plays a drop shot during his second round match against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Rafa Nadal plays a drop shot during his second round match against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Serena Williams waits for the result of an appeal against Chanelle Scheepers.
Serena Williams waits for the result of an appeal against Chanelle Scheepers.
Ana Ivanovic blows kisses to the crowd after her victory over China's Zheng Jie.
Ana Ivanovic blows kisses to the crowd after her victory over China's Zheng Jie.
Stanislas Wawrinka takes a seat between points against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
Stanislas Wawrinka takes a seat between points against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
Serena Williams lost just two games in cruising by South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers and into the third round at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams lost just two games in cruising by South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers and into the third round at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray made quick work of Slovenian Blaz Rola in the second round, losing only two games.
Andy Murray made quick work of Slovenian Blaz Rola in the second round, losing only two games.
Petra Kvitova serves during her second round match against Mona Barthel.
Petra Kvitova serves during her second round match against Mona Barthel.
Wimbledon fans peer through a hole in the fence to catch a glimpse of Japan's Misaki Doi and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Wimbledon fans peer through a hole in the fence to catch a glimpse of Japan's Misaki Doi and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Kiwi Steph Jones enjoys some strawberries and cream at the All England Club.
Kiwi Steph Jones enjoys some strawberries and cream at the All England Club.
A tennis umpire checks the height of an outside court at Wimbledon.
A tennis umpire checks the height of an outside court at Wimbledon.
Li Na overcame Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-2 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon.
Li Na overcame Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-2 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon.
Two tennis fans take in the action on day three at Wimbledon.
Two tennis fans take in the action on day three at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams stretches into the splits after she plays a shot during her win over Anna Tatishvili of the US.
Serena Williams stretches into the splits after she plays a shot during her win over Anna Tatishvili of the US.
Rafa Nadal lost the first set but recovered to record his 700th tour win.
Rafa Nadal lost the first set but recovered to record his 700th tour win.
Maria Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after her straight sets victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
Maria Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after her straight sets victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
Roger Federer showed signs of old as he breezed by Paolo Lorenzi in the first round at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer showed signs of old as he breezed by Paolo Lorenzi in the first round at Wimbledon.
Caroline Wozniacki adjusts her ponytail during her victory over Israel's Shahar Peer.
Caroline Wozniacki adjusts her ponytail during her victory over Israel's Shahar Peer.
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from losing a long tiebreaker in the second set to see off Poland's Michal Przysiezny in four sets.
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from losing a long tiebreaker in the second set to see off Poland's Michal Przysiezny in four sets.
Stanislas Wawrinka stretches for a backhand shot during his first-round straight sets victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Stanislas Wawrinka stretches for a backhand shot during his first-round straight sets victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga slips as he attempts to play a shot in a rain-delayed match against Jurgen Melzer.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga slips as he attempts to play a shot in a rain-delayed match against Jurgen Melzer.
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after overcoming Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after overcoming Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Fabio Fognini throws his racquet to the turf after losing a point to Alex Kuznetsov.
Fabio Fognini throws his racquet to the turf after losing a point to Alex Kuznetsov.
A tennis fan shelters herself from the rain with a seat cushion on day one.
A tennis fan shelters herself from the rain with a seat cushion on day one.

Petra Kvitova ruthlessly ended the grand slam hopes of her friend Lucie Safarova in Thursday's (local time) all-Czech semi-final and set her sights on claiming a second Wimbledon title against a young upstart chasing her first.

The 2011 champion overcame the plucky resistance of Safarova 7-6 (6) 6-1 to set up a showdown with 20-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who reached her maiden grand slam final by seeing off third seed Simona Halep.

Kvitova, whose Wimbledon triumph as a 21-year-old prompted nine-times singles champion Martina Navratilova to predict that the young Czech would go on to dominate the women's game, feels ready to start fulfilling expectations.

"I think these three years were really up and down. I knew that a lot of people were probably expecting something more from me," the 24-year-old told reporters.

"But on the other side, I was still in the top 10 and I did everything I could. I was practising very hard and everything ... I'm back in the final and I'm feeling well."

Bouchard, meanwhile, is a leading light among the new generation of players that have wowed the All England Club this year and reached the semi-finals of both the Australian and French Opens.

FINAL FAVOURITE


Sixth seed Kvitova remains favourite for Saturday's final, but is taking nothing for granted in a tournament that has thrown up more than its fair share of surprises.

"I find her a very solid and talented player," Kvitova said of Bouchard. "She really seems confident in her game right now. She's moving very well. She's playing aggressively from near the baseline."

So, too, 27-year-old Safarova, having not lost a set en route to her first grand slam semi-final at the 37th time of asking.

"I knew that it was going to be a very tough match against her," Kvitova said of her friend. "I think she played her best tennis of the tournament."

But as tough as it was physically and emotionally, Kvitova simply had too much firepower for the 23rd seed, whom she had beaten on all five of their previous meetings.

Safarova had her serve broken in the opening game before settling into the unfamiliar surroundings of Centre Court and producing a series of venomous winners as the big-hitting left-handers slugged it out from the baseline.

She broke back in the fourth game and matched the powerful Kvitova every step of the way until the 2011 champion made the decisive breakthrough with a breathtaking cross-court forehand clinching a scintillating tiebreak.

Bloodied but unbowed, Safarova continued to attack at every opportunity. But she lacked the consistency required to unsettle her opponent, who stepped up a gear in the second set to build a 3-0 lead.

Safarova stemmed the flow in the fourth game but by then Kvitova had her measure and continued the relentless barrage of fierce returns and passing shots to secure another tilt at the Wimbledon title.

CZECH-MATE: After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
CZECH-MATE: After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.

Reuters