London - Petra Kvitova stunned favourite
Maria Sharapova to win her first Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-4
victory in the women's singles final at Wimbledon here Saturday.
21-year-old eighth seed became only the third Czech woman to triumph at
Wimbledon after nine-time champion Martina Navratilova and Jana
Novotna, who were both in Centre Court's royal box to witness the
Kvitova, who had never appeared in a Grand Slam final
before, collapsed to the turf in delight after clinching the title in
the 10th game of the second set with her first ace of the match.
it was desperately disappointing outcome for Russian fifth seed
Sharapova, the 2004 champion who had been heavily favoured to win her
fourth Grand Slam crown.
Sharapova ultimately paid the price for a faltering service game which Kvitova was able to break regularly throughout.
nervous start saw Kvitova and Sharapova both suffer breaks of serve in
the opening two games before the match settled into its rhythm.
Kvitova fought off a Sharapova break point in the third game before holding to take a 2-1 lead.
decisive break came in the sixth game when Sharapova's serve -- which
had looked shaky during her semi-final win over Sabine Lisicki -- let
the Russian down again.
A double-fault gifted Kvitova a break for a 4-2, which swiftly became 5-2.
problems on serve continued in the next game, where she was forced to
save a set point in the face of some relentless groundstrokes from
Kvitova before holding for 5-3.
Kvitova was not to be denied in
the next game however, the Czech's left-handed spin on serve causing all
sorts of problems for Sharapova as she successfully held to take the
Another poor service game from Sharapova saw her double-fault at 30-40 down to gift Kvitova her third break of the match.
Sharapova was able to carve out a break to level at 2-2, when Kvitova
failed to put away a routine smash which allowed the Russian to lob.
problems which had dogged Sharapova's serve resurfaced in the next game
however, and the former world number one was soon break point down.
saved that one but Kvitova made no mistake to convert her second,
bludgeoning an unstoppable forehand return past her opponent for a 3-2
Sharapova again conjured up a break to bounce back to 3-3
but her failure to address the vulnerability of her own serve proved
costly once more as she was broken for the third time in the second set
to trail 3-4.
Kvitova duly held for the remainder of the set to seal a deserved win.