News24

Kvitova sends title warning

2012-06-28 21:23

London - Defending champion Petra Kvitova fired a warning to her Wimbledon title rivals as the Czech raced into the third round with a 6-0, 6-4 demolition of Britain's Elena Baltacha on Thursday.

On her arrival at the All England Club last week, Kvitova admitted she wasn't in the best form to retain the Venus Rosewater Dish after losing in the first round of the Wimbledon warm-up at Eastbourne.

But the 22-year-old, who defeated Maria Sharapova in last year's Wimbledon final, erased those doubts in convincing style in the evening sunshine on Court Two.

Fourth seeded Kvitova, who faces America's Varvara Lepchenko for a place in the last 16, won 10 games in a row to take complete control before the out-classed Baltacha finally got on the scoreboard.

Baltacha had conceded in the build-up that she probably had no chance of shocking Kvitova if the Czech was on top form, but even the 28-year-old couldn't have imagined just how difficult she would find it.

The first set passed by in a flurry of Kvitova winners from the baseline and the second was heading the same way until the world number four eased up with the finish line in sight.

That allowed the world number 101 to preserve some pride with a run of three games in a row, but Kvitova, beaten in the semi-finals of both grand slams this year, regained her focus to seal the win.

AFP