Petra Kvitova claims all-Czech semifinal

17:52, Jul 03 2014
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka stretches for a backhand shot during his first-round straight sets victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki adjusts her ponytail during her victory over Israel's Shahar Peer.
Fabio Fognini
Fabio Fognini throws his racquet to the turf after losing a point to Alex Kuznetsov.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga slips as he attempts to play a shot in a rain-delayed match against Jurgen Melzer.
Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova pumps her fist after overcoming Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.
Wimbledon fan
A tennis fan shelters herself from the rain with a seat cushion on day one.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer showed signs of old as he breezed by Paolo Lorenzi in the first round at Wimbledon.
Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt recovered from losing a long tiebreaker in the second set to see off Poland's Michal Przysiezny in four sets.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after her straight sets victory over British wildcard Samantha Murray.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal lost the first set but recovered to record his 700th tour win.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray made quick work of Slovenian Blaz Rola in the second round, losing only two games.
Li Na
Li Na overcame Austrian Yvonne Meusburger 6-2 6-2 in the second round at Wimbledon.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams stretches into the splits after she plays a shot during her win over Anna Tatishvili of the US.
Tennis umpire
A tennis umpire checks the height of an outside court at Wimbledon.
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Two tennis fans take in the action on day three at Wimbledon.
Steph Jones
Kiwi Steph Jones enjoys some strawberries and cream at the All England Club.
Wimbledon fans
Wimbledon fans peer through a hole in the fence to catch a glimpse of Japan's Misaki Doi and Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova serves during her second round match against Mona Barthel.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams lost just two games in cruising by South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers and into the third round at Wimbledon.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal plays a drop shot during his second round match against Czech Lukas Rosol.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic blows kisses to the crowd after her victory over China's Zheng Jie.
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka takes a seat between points against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams waits for the result of an appeal against Chanelle Scheepers.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray mowed past Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to reach the last 16.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic grimaces in pain after falling on his left shoulder diving for a shot.
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, of the Czech Republic, roars after upsetting No 2 seed Li Na in the third round.
Line judge
A Wimbledon line judge in action during a match between Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match point in his victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Wimbledon fans
Tennis ball bra-wearing Wimbledon fans watch Andy Murray's match at an outdoor viewing area.
Wimbledon centre court
Wimbledon centre court as seen from the cheap seats.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dropped the first set for the third straight match but rallied to win in four sets.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal dries himself off during a changeover in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin.
Wimbledon rain
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Wimbledon rain
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Wimbledon rain
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Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova plays a forehand volley during her domination of American Alison Riske.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his fourth round singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with Kevin Anderson of South Africa after their fourth round match on day seven at Wimbledon.
Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez of Spain hits a return to John Isner of the US during their men's singles match at Wimbledon.
Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland slips over during his singles match against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan at Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia is dejected after losing her fourth round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany at Wimbledon.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a forehand return during her fourth round match against Alize Cornet of France.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep became just the second Romanian, after Virginia Ruzici in 1978 and 1981, to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer stretches for a forehand during his domination of Tommy Robredo.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer needed just 94 minutes to finish off Tommy Robredo to reach the quarterfinals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova saved six match points before eventually falling to Angelique Kerber in the fourth round.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams is treated by medical staff before a women's double match with sister Venus (left).
Milos Raonic
Milos Raonic is fired up after his Canada Day victory over Kei Nishikori.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia celebrates after his shock upset victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Nick Kyrgios
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
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
Australian wildcard Nick Kyrgios reacts during his fourth round singles match with Rafael Nadal.
Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand return during his clash with Spain's Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep reeled off the last 11 games in her quarterfinal against Sabine Lisicki to surge into the Wimbledon semifinals.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal victory over Sabine Lisicki.
Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is at full stretch for a forehand stroke against Simona Halep.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard serves during her quarterfinal victory over Angelique Kerber.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray sit dejected with a towel over his head after his Wimbledon title defence ended in the quarterfinals.
Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov reacts after match-point against Andy Murray.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic wipes away sweat during a change of ends during his quarterfinal against Marin Cilic.
Andy Murray
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.
Petra Kvitova
After a first-set tiebreaker, Petra Kvitova took control in the second set, defeating Lucie Safarova in straight sets.
Lucie Safarova
Lucie Safarova stretches for a baseline forehand shot against Petra Kvitova.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard blasted past Simona Halep after a first-set tiebreaker to reach the Wimbledon final.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep (right) congratulates Eugenie Bouchard after their Wimbledon semifinal.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand return during her win over compatriot Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reacts after defeating Lucie Safarova at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a return during her women's singles semi-final match against Simona Halep of Romania at Wimbledon.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during her Wimbledon match against Simona Halep of Romania.
Novak Dimitrov
Making it into the Wimbledon final meant much to Novak Djokovic.
Novak Dimitrov
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov shows his athleticism in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer a crowd favourite at the All England Club where fans joined with him in celebrating his semifinal win.
Novak Dimitrov
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer shows his classic grace on court in the Wimbledon semifinals.
Petra Kvitova
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.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard at full stretch during the women's final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates after defeating Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the women's singles final.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova plays a forehand return during the Ladies' Singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard hits a forehand during the women's singles final.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard with the runner-up trophy after the women's singles final against Petra Kvitova.
Novak Djokovic
CHAMPION: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his second Wimbledon crown.
Novak Djokovic
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
Novak Djokovic of Serbia eats some of the centre court grass after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland in the final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand return to Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's singles final at Wimbledon.

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.

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

Reuters