Dominating. Clutch serving. Wicked forehand. Nerves of steel.
Knowing how incestuous sports writing circles are and that tennis sports circles are among the worst there is no need to wonder how Maria Sharapova became the odds on favorite to win the Ladies Championships. There were some tennisheads who pointed out that Maria had not faced a single top ten player on her way to the final and that this might not be a good thing but their cries in the wilderness went unmentioned as Sharapova was all but handed the Venus Rosewater dish before a single ball had been put into play.
But wishing doesn't make it so. I admit that I had my reservations about Kvitova. She's prone to go on walkabout at crucial parts of a match and I felt that would hurt her in the Final. There were a couple of loose returns and forehands that landed in the Channel but they didn't cost Petra a set.
What did return were the double faults and serving malaise that has plagued Maria Sharapova since her comeback. And Petra took full advantage of every error. When Maria got a break in the second set and couldn't consolidate it the match was essentially over at that point.
What does this mean for women's tennis? Totally unheralded, ignored except by women's tennis nerds Petra Kvitova has done what the super hyped players haven't been able to do and win a Grand Slam. Her game is complete. She is not fleet of foot and is in no way a great mover. But she is comfortable with her game and knows how to use it. The biggest thing she has to fix is her focus and like another great player it may be with her the rest of her career.
Today belongs to Petra. Congratulations on your win.