On Saturday afternoon, a woman will be put on the top of the tennis world. On Centre Court at the All England Club, either Maria Sharapova or Petra Kvitova will be crowned a champion as the 2011 Wimbledon winner.
It seems like forever since won her first Wimbledon way back in 2004. Since that point, she really had only seemed to go backwards. She was a semifinalist in both 2005 and 2006 and didn’t make it beyond the second Monday of the tournament after that until this year. Now, she’s back in the finale for the first time in a Grand Slam event since the 2008 Australian Open. Things didn’t look all that promising in the second semifinal of the day on Thursday, as Sharapova was down 3-0 in the first set against Sabine Lisicki. However, from that point on, it was a total romp in favor of the Russian. Sharapova only lost four more games in the entire match, and she ended the dreams of the German qualifier with a 6-4, 6-3 ‘W’. Sharapova still hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament. Though that is awfully impressive, we have to remember that the No. 5 ranked player in this tournament still hasn’t played anyone ranked in the Top 20 yet, something that she will have to do when she runs up against Kvitova on Saturday.
Is this the time for Kvitova to really shine? She made it to the semifinals last year at Wimbledon in shocking fashion, and this year, she is proving that she was no fluke whatsoever. This is clearly a case of a young lady running up the ranks of women’s tennis, as the Czech native is only just barely 21 years old. And, the way that women’s tennis is going right now, Kvitova has a chance to really be the next big thing. She has stormed through this tournament with flying colors, and she proved on Thursday that she can play with the best in the world when she bounced Victoria Azarenka in three sets, dominating the third set 6-2. Just as Sharapova had to deal with a big server in the semifinals against Lisicki, Kvitova has really kicked it up a notch with her serve as well of late. She has won at least 72 percent of her first service points in all of her matches in this tournament, and she has nine aces in each of her last two matches.
This is the day for Kvitova to finally shine. Sharapova was the only woman in the last eight that had ever won a Wimbledon before, but she has definitely had her problems. Kvitova seems like she is getting better and better with every passing moment, and she will be the winner when this is said and done on Saturday. Go with Petra Kvitova in the finale.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.