When Petra Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011, she hit 222 winners. In this year's tournament, she has already hit 156 winners. Today, she defeated countrywoman Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 7-5. Zahlavova played a clean match--only ten unforced errors--but was overcome by a Kvitova who wasn't always steady, but was good enough to win.
This has been a great tournament for Zahlavova Strycova, and the goings-on in today's quarterfinal were often very pleasing to the eye; each player is so good on grass. To some of us, Kvitova's "bark" is very pleasing to the ear, but that's a matter of personal taste.
Next for the 2011 champion is a countrywoman who has not historically demonstrated Zahlavova Strycova's grass court skills, but who has plenty of skills of her own. Lucie Safarova (who, like Kvitova, is also left-handed) pretty much ran over Ekaterina Makarova today. Kvitova leads Safarova 5-0 head-to-head. Earlier this year, she beat Safarova 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 on grass at Eastbourne. Petra won't have any room to mess around when she confronts Safarova.
There are still two quarterfinals to be played. Eugenie Bouchard, trying for her third consecutive semifinal at a major, will play Angelique Kerber. The mojo is with Bouchard for the simple reason that Kerber has to be exhausted after today's epic match against Maria Sharapova. Everything is backed up because of all the rain--and because--in a city where it rains constantly this time of year--Wimbledon has no play on the middle Sunday. Kerber is probably doing ice baths and massage and a six-course meal and a plea to the tennis gods for more rain, since her match isn't scheduled to take place on Centre Court.
In the other quarterfinal, last year's runner-up, Sabine Lisicki, will face Simona Halep. This match will be played at Lisicki's favorite of all places, Wimbledon Centre Court. It's okay to anticipate drama, by the way.