Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kvitova wins 10th title

That sudden blast of air you felt earlier today was the collective sigh of relief exhaled by fans of Czech star Petra Kvitova--and perhaps by fans of the WTA in general. Finally getting herself on track, Kvitova won the Dubai title, beating Sara Errani 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in the final. Yes, it's an odd scoreline, but this is Petra--what do you want?

Kvitova did "go off," as she is inclined to do, in the second set, but that wasn't the only chapter in the story. Errani, realizing she might not be around much longer, went all Italian on Kvitova in the second set, throwing everything she could think of at her--serve and volley, chip and charge, drop volley--the whole playbook. It worked, too. The tall Czech appeared flummoxed as her small Italian opponent kept moving forward, moving forward, and effectively taking away Kvitova's advantage.

The third set featured an appearance by first-set Kvitova, who ran her total of winners up to 46 (with 36 unforced errors). The news wasn't all good, however. She double-faulted eight times, and failed to diaplay the volleying brilliance we saw from her earlier in the tournament.

But enough nit-picking. Here's something very significant: Kvitova won the tournament in spite of her coach being absent. So some might say. I'm going to go with my gut, though, and say she won it because he wasn't there. Call it an "intuition." Call it an educated guess.

After the second set, the talented Czech didn't look too good, but she pulled herself together, and her self rewarded her. Something to think about, WTA.

One final thing....I'm posting this from my iPad, and somehow the annoying auto-correct function got turned on. As a result, the third sentence originally read "'s an odd shoreline...." I kind of like that (auto-correct is a goldmine of metaphorical and Freudian slip-type things). For Kvitova, the tide went out, and then it rolled back, almost suddenly, with great force. Can it carry her all the way to California?

There was another final in Dubai today. Unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza won the doubles title, defeating 2nd seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Nadia Petrova 6-4, 2-6, 10-7. That second set was the only set Mattek-Sand and Mirza dropped during the tournament.

I miss the Mirza-Vesnina pairing, but in doubles, how well a team does appears to be only loosely related to whether that team continues to exist.


Doug Messenger said...

I concur. Petra most likely won because her coach was NOT there. Last year at Wimbledon, when Petra was turning the tide and held a set point against Williams, she looked toward her coach, who BURIED HIS FACE in his hands, rather than giving her a thumbs-up of some kind. He's bad news and not all that much of a coach, from what I've (not) seen at her practice sessions, where he just stands there, offering no comments whatsoever. I for one, have noticed that when she steps IN to her forehand, closing stance, she is at her best and commits few unforced errors. Last year, she hit most though not all of her forehands with an open stance. The open stance is inevitable at times under pressure but she takes the ball later when she opens, and hooks her arm through the ball rather than driving through it. Just sayin'....

Diane said...

I think the observation about her forehand is spot-on.

Kvitova should be proud of herself after today's adventure.

sunny nine said...

I thought Kvitova did great today and felt the same way about the coach and forehand. Errani did great also. She does have trouble with power players. But she played Kvitova better than Wozniacki or Radwanska. She changed tactics and threw the whole kitchen sink at her and everything else. I wasn't sure when watching that she could keep it up in the third set. Serving and volleying, rushing Petra was fun to watch. But she turned it around for one set, the only one Kvitova lost this week.

Also Diane didn't get what you meant by "After the second set, the talented Czech didn't look too good, but she pulled herself together, and her self rewarded her. Something to think about, WTA."

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe Vika and Serena took note of Petra's improving form in Doha and decided to bail out. During the post-match interview, Serena acted surprised to have beaten Petra, commenting that winners that she could not get to and "nobody else on the tour could have either" were whizzing by her throughout the match. Azarenka, of course has been destroyed by Kvitova several times. It could make sense to go into Indian Wells and Key Biscayne NOT having been beaten by Kvitova now. Pure speculation, I admit. Sure to annoy some of the bloggers too. Sorry.

Doug Messenger said...

Agreed, Petra should be proud of herself for what she did today. This was Part II of Petra v Italy. Recall that at Wimbledon last year, Schiavone threw the kitchen sink, the toilet and the cupboards at Petra, plus complaints, stalling and other gamesmanship stuff. Was that how the Romans conquered the known world?lol

Diane said...

Sunny, I meant that Kvitova was obviously down on herself, but--without anyone there to "help" her, she turned it around. I meant Get Rid of On-Court Coaching.

Anon--doesn't annoy me :)

Doug, I had indeed forgotten about that Wimbledon match against Schiavone. Good point. And another thing about Petra--she is so drama-free (not that I don't enjoy some good JJ-type drama!) and graceful in her approach to other players.

Anonymous said...

In the future, Errani and Schiavone will no doubt bring holy water and furniture from the Vatican to throw at Petra.

There's something novel and salutary in what Kvitova brings to tennis. A quiet dignity, elegance. Not to forget the artistry in her game. Quite a package. She is clean, so to speak, whereas so many others bring damage to the courts.
I'll venture a guess that having to play with a BLX Tour 95 that Wilson paints to look like a Steam bothers Petra. It should. It's forced complicity in defrauding the public through false advertising. I've had it out with Wilson and Tennis Warehouse on this and they answer in congruent lockstep: It's a contractual matter between Wilson and the player. Of course, I reply that no, it is a matter of the implicit contract between Wilson and the public which is truth in advertising, as well as a violation of fraud and advertising law.

Diane said...

"In the future, Errani and Schiavone will no doubt brring holy water and furniture from the Vatican to throw at Petra."

LOL! I think this image is probably going to stay with me every time I watch Petra play an Italian.

Anon, "Truth in Advertising" is about as authentic as "War on Drugs."

Anonymous said...

By the way, Serena's acknowledgement of Petra's stroke genius is the first such admission that I have ever seen from Serena, about anyone. High praise indeed.