LONDON: Petra Kvitova stormed to her second Wimbledon title in the shortest women’s final since 1983 as the Czech sixth seed crushed Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 yesterday.
Kvitova, who first won Wimbledon in 2011, took just 55 minutes to end her three-year wait for a second Grand Slam crown, leaving shell-shocked world number 13 Bouchard helpless to repel a brutal barrage of 28 winners and four aces on Centre Court.
Playing in her first Grand Slam final since her maiden triumph at Wimbledon, the 24-year-old Kvitova produced a brilliant display of power-hitting to secure the 12th career title.
Fittingly, Kvitova’s breathtaking performance came in front of her childhood hero Martina Navratilova, whose 54-minute win against Andrea Jaeger 31 years ago was the last Wimbledon final to take less time than this ruthless demolition.
“I had great tactics from my coach, he always knows how I need to play,” Kvitova said.
“All my team helped me a lot throughout the years to come back here and win the trophy again.
“I can’t say it’s more special but after three years to be back here with the trophy is so special.”
After struggling to cope with the fame and increased expectations that came with her first Wimbledon triumph, Kvitova has finally recaptured the thrilling form that brought her that breakthrough success.
The left-hander dropped just one set in her seven matches en route to lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish for the second time and will rise to fourth in the world rankings next week.
While Kvitova celebrated, Bouchard, the youngest finalist at a major since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009, was left to lick her wounds after a chastening defeat in her first Grand Slam final.
The photogenic and fiercely competitive Bouchard, named after Princess Eugenie by her royalty-obsessed mother, has been widely compared to Maria Sharapova and this was supposed to be her coronation as the queen of Wimbledon.
But instead, with her regal namesake watching from the Royal Box, the 20-year-old was swept away and now shares with Sharapova the unwanted distinction of being thrashed by Kvitova in a Wimbledon final.
“It was really tough for me today but I am proud of how I have played for these two weeks,” Bouchard said. “I feel like it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not sure I deserve all your love today but I certainly appreciate it.”
Kvitova was unloading some searing groundstrokes and Bouchard, no slouch in the power stakes herself, was unable to respond as a flashing forehand winner from the Czech secured the first break in the third game.
Bouchard, bidding to become the youngest Grand Slam winner since Sharapova in 2006 at the US Open, responded by adding even more bite to her returns, but Kvitova had the answer to everything the youngster could throw at her.
The Canadian, playing in only her sixth Grand Slam tournament, was wilting under the relentless barrage and the Czech, hitting with an unstoppable combination of aggression and accuracy, broke again for a 5-2 lead.
Kvitova’s onslaught left the bewildered Bouchard, who had grown used to bullying opponents into submission herself over the last fortnight, shaking her head in frustration.
The Canadian briefly stemmed the tide with a break of her own in the next game, but Kvitova answered emphatically with another sequence of sledgehammer winners to break again and seal the set.
There was no sign of Kvitova letting up in the second set and a crushing overhead left Bouchard almost ducking for cover as it fizzed over her head.
As statements of intent go, it was a resounding success and Bouchard, rapidly losing her stomach for the fight, tamely surrendered her serve in the second game.
Kvitova had a vice-like grip on the trophy now and she sprinted to the finish line with two more breaks to complete the most clinical final victory Wimbledon had seen for decades. AFP