Sunday, July 6, 2014


Absolute unadulterated perfection.

It is not often that one person comes along to make a mark and mark her day; Afar along the way, never astray aloft the loftiest of spheres. Sitting perched there, the clouds of insecurity dissipating with a mind suddenly so clear and the green shade bestrode by such flair.

Never before did such a combination of power and timing befall one. Power, yes, timing, maybe, but the two together, no. But this is Petra Kvitova we're talking of here. One so unique, indeed. Petra by name and the game to shoot straight to fame. A Queen fit for the jungle, but also a lady of the day.

She wasn't always a Queen, though. More like a Princess, one that would offer up delightful servings of mesmerising stroke-play one day, and the next, an error strewn monstrosity of a performance. A Princess searching for power, but unable to keep a grasp on it for any significant length of time. There was that first Wimbledon title in 2011. A talent had risen, or so it had seemed. There one moment, and quick as a flash, gone the next.

It wasn't that she didn't possess the most glorious of shots; She did. Really, though, it was the lack of consistency that was most puzzling. With a glaring lack of self-belief for one seemingly destined for greatness, maybe, like a rabbit caught in the headlights, she didn't know which way to turn. Not really comprehending what being a professional entailed, her fitness regime was of such low intensity that it was the equivalent of having a heart rate of "my career is going nowhere".

Of late, there is a new dedication to fitness and a sports psychologist has been employed. Which has led to increased power, both on a physical and mental level. What a difference six months makes.

They say Britain has never been conquered. Not so. Yesterday, this 6ft Amazonian Queen from Czechoslovakia rode into town and bequeathed many a grateful new disciple with a flawless display of power Tennis to marvel at. And not only did she take possession of Britain, Kvitova, just for good measure, grabbed hold of the colonies and gave them a good shake, too.

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard may not have appreciated this invasion, not that she had the slightest say in proceedings.

Such was Kvitova's Perfection. The 6-3, 6-0 kind of Perfection.

It's not just that she hit with her usual fearsome power, it also came with the detonation of immaculate precision. Such is the bravery of youth that Bouchard planted herself on the baseline and steadfastly refused to move. Normally this would be fine, but with Kvitova landing balls within inches of the baseline, Bouchard simply had no time to respond. Bouchard, it turned out, was a girl playing on a woman's court; Petra Kvitova's court.

Kvitova has always enjoyed the use of a left-handers swinging serve, and a forehand that has often threatened to break the speed of sound. On this stunning day, soon to appear was the ultimate weapon for someone with all the shots; A mind made of steel. Cold, hard, ruthless steel that refused to bend.

This was the one area Bouchard was supposedly superior in and it turns out that she was a minor in that regard, too. The Canadian has made much of her desire to succeed in the now. Not to be content with a Final's appearance as a learning tool for the future. Fair enough. After all, she has now reached the semi-finals of two grand slams and a Wimbledon Final all in the space of six months.

All this hard minded talk, such noble notions. Of course, she had that nobility knocked out of her by a tougher opponent. Which goes to show, have the mental toughness but not the ability, or vice versa and it all amounts to zip when up against a foe that possesses more of both.

In this case she was up against a player that offered a blast from the past that fast circumnavigated its way around all the oddities of one not yet worldly, and travelled forward in time to appear on the grandest stage of them all; Saturday July 5th on Centre Court of Wimbledon. The past and the present collided into a kaleidoscopic montage of exhilarating shot-making fare.

Bouchard's only hope was for some thunderous elements to prevail and unsettle Kvitova with a stoppage in play.

But even with inclement weather nearby, the Czech simply indulged in a race to see who could cause the most destruction first: Like with everything else on this day, Kvitova won.


Absolute unadulterated perfection.

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