The 2011 Wimbledon women’s singles final starts today (Saturday 2 July), at 2pm local time in London. To watch the tennis in Singapore just add 7 hours, therefore the matches will kick off at 9pm. The final is between current World No.6 Maria SHARAPOVA and World No.8 Petra KVITOVA.
The No.5 seeded Sharapova has a number of factors in her favour in the Ladies Singles Final. The 24-year-old Sharapova has by far the greatest career achievements to date, the proven record in huge matches and possibly most importantly, has proved to herself that she can overcome the demons and mental challenges that playing in a Grand Slam singles final bombards you with.
The 1.88m Sharapova won the first of her three Grand Slam singles titles as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon in 2004. The Russian won the 2006 US Open and the 2008 Australian Open singles titles to post a 3-1 record in Slam finals. Sharapova was runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open and first achieved the World No.1 singles ranking on 22 August 2005.
Sharapova won the only match she has played against Kvitova 6-4 6-3 at Memphis in the USA on a hard court in 2010 when Kvitova was ranked at No.66. Sharapova is pictured above at the 2011 Australian Open getting into position and REALLY focussing on the ball before swinging her racquet to the ball for this forehand drive. How well Sharapova executes her forehand could be a decisive factor in the outcome.
The 21-year old Kvitova has improved in leaps and bounds in the past year. The 1.83m Kvitova from the Czech Republic has reached the quarter finals or better from her past five Grand Slam tournaments. The left-hander is currently at her career-high singles ranking at No.8 with a bullet.
Kvitova certainly has the style of game and strokes to be a Grand Slam singles champion and World No.1. Whether or not Kvitova can conquer the demons and successfully overcome the mental and emotional challenges of playing in her first Grand Slam singles final will be the key indicator in forecasting if she can be the next dominating power player on the women’s tour.
Kvitova is pictured to the right at the conclusion of her service action at the 2011 Australian Open. A sign of how well a player is coping mentally with the challenges, opponent and occasion is how smooth, rhythmical and successful their service action can be continually executed. Kvitova’s serve will certainly be a critical factor in the outcome today. If Kvitova lands a high percentage of first serves it will be difficult for Sharapova to break serve BUT if she misses too many first serves Sharapova will get a look at a lot of second serves. Sharapova is known for her go-for-broke strategy of REALLY trying to put her opponent’s second serve away for an outright winner.
Whose day will it be today? It’s ALL about who can bring out their best tennis today and perform at a higher level than their opponent, under pressure and at the critical SWING stages of each set and match. GAME ON! Don’t miss it.
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© photo credit: Sharapova 6cab
© photo credit: Kvitova 6cab