2011 was an incredible year for Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. She conquered at Brisbane, Paris, Madrid, Wimbledon, Linz and the WTA Championships, was awarded Player of the Year, and received her highest World Ranking at Number 2. It comes as a surprise then, that 2012 has, as of yet, produced very little and as Kvitova was knocked out of Wimbledon yesterday, this year shows no signs of echoing the triumphs of 2011.
January saw her reach the semi-finals at the Australian Open, only to be deterred by Sharapova. Impaired by an Achilles injury and illness she was unable to battle at Doho and Dubai, and after a straight set defeat at Wimbledon yesterday, her quest to hold the trophy once more has come to an end.
Kvitova’s Wimbledon tournament started comfortably, beating Baltacha and Lepchenko in straight sets to take her into the fourth round. She was met by Schiavone, who for the first set at least was able to dominate, rinsing Kvitova of her confidence and game play; Schiavone took the first set 6-4. As the rain poured, game play was stopped, and on commencement of the match, a different Kvitova emerged, much to the dismay of Schiavone. The following two sets saw glimpses of the Czech’s technical brilliance, and the crowd watched in awe as determined, she regained fearlessness, taking the match 7-5, 6-1 and a place in the quarter-finals.
Despite a courageous come-back in the fourth round, Kvitova was unable to compete with the sheer force of Serena Williams, who in straight sets demolished the Czech. Williams’ serve was meticulous, her shots overpowering, and she played with an unrelenting desire to win which Kvitova could not contest. Although unable to defend her Wimbledon title, with the US Open fast approaching, perhaps Kvitova will be able to triumph once more.