LONDON, July 3 (Agencies): Petra Kvitova did what no other player could manage this Wimbledon against Lucie Safarova as she stormed into the final with a straight sets victory on Centre Court.
Prior to this semi-final, played in front of a packed crowd sweltering in the SW19 heat, Safarova had not conceded a single set of tennis at this year�s tournament. However, sixth seed Kvitova rallied with a commanding display to seal a 7-6 (6), 6-1 triumph.
Kvitova sealed an early break in the first to give her the immediate advantage. Safarova, though, remained unfazed and promptly broke back next game to put the match back on serve.
Both settled after the frantic early exchange and neither player gave an inch to their opponent. Several well-placed winners from Kvitova were cancelled out by 11 unforced errors in the first set alone; at 6-6, the opener would be settled with a tie-break.
Like earlier in the set, Safarova did immensely well to force her way back into the breaker after conceding the mini-break. However, composure deserted her at the most inopportune of moments.
Safarova netted a return to gift her opponent match point and Kvitova did not pass it up. The Czech rifled her return with Safarova seemingly stuck on the Centre Court grass.
In truth, the loss of a set seemingly took the wind from Safarova�s sails. Like Andy Murray just 24 hours beforehand, she did not win another. Kvitova secured the early break in the second set and after that all seemed lost for her opponent. She held serve well under pressure to extend her lead to 4-1 before inflicting yet another break on Safarova, who by then had ran out of steam.