Here we are – at the business weekend of the most important tournament in the Tennis Galaxy. After a fortnight that began on a rather sedate note with the favorites in both draws gently humming by before taking the Tennis Galaxy through quite a tumultuous journey that culminated in members of the new guard going all the way on the women’s side. On the men’s side, the old guard held off the young guard – just about.
One can easily see the theme of the final as the irresistible force meeting an Immovable object. Who is the force and who is the object, you ask? I can say we can look at it either way. The obvious view point is Petra Kvitova with her booming serve and super sonic forehand is the irresistible force to Eugenie Bouchard’s camping on the baseline. The not-so obvious view point is how well Bouchard’s aggressive ground strokes will exploit Kvitova’s lack of mobility when things get dynamic. One can see these two themes as two battles that will go a long way in determining the war that these women wage for the ultimate prize in the Tennis Galaxy.
Petra Kvitova’s serve is quite possibly one of the most lethal weapons on women’s tour, right at this moment. For my money, it is right up there with Serena’s serve, if you add the advantage of the lefty serve. On the slick surface that is grass, she has put it to good use to reach quarterfinals for the 5th straight year. Thus far this tournament, Kvitova has been in great rhythm with the serve and since getting past Venus Williams in my pick for the match of the tournament, she has run through her opponents with relative ease. Bouchard might have to employ Plan B by taking a step back when returning Kvitova’s serves, should Kvitova start hurting Bouchard with the big serve. A wildcard in this particular battle will be the roof, which might be closed given the weather forecast in Wimbledon, A closed roof should definitely give an advantage to Kvitova’s super serving.
The other battle will see Genie Bouchard try to exploit Kvitova’s lack of mobility – something that Federer gave a masterclass in his match against Raonic the day before. Bouchard will have to implement something similar to get Kvitova out of her comfort zone. Admittedly her task will be more challenging as Kvitova is not as averse to the net as Milos was yesterday. The challenge for Bouchard, then boils down to how she can move Kvitova laterally.
Given the high risk aggressive tennis that both these players play, the margin for error is really minute and as we have seen in a number of matches over the past fortnight, it really comes down to a handful of points in Grass Court tennis.
Prediction: I expect some good quality tennis and in a tight 2 set match, I will go with Petra Kvitova to be the first non-Williams player to win multiple titles at Tennis’ World Cup.