Monday, February 14, 2011

Kvitova stuns number one mum to take Paris title.

Showing that a world-beating Czech lefty isn't just a one-time occurrence, Petra Kvitova stormed to her biggest WTA title yet on Sunday afternoon, upsetting Kim Clijsters in the final of the Open GDF SUEZ, 6-4 6-3.

Kvitova, the No.4 seed, had barely made it into the final this week, rallying from a match point down against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the second round and clawing out of a 5-3 third set deficit against Yanina Wickmayer in the quarterfinals, too; but once she cleared those hurdles there was no stopping her, as she crushed Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the semifinals, 6-2 6-0, and scored the straight set win over No.1 seed Clijsters for her first Premier title.

"I'm very happy to win my second title of the year, and it doesn't get much better than beating the new No.1 in the final," Kvitova said. "I thought I played very well. I played my game, fast and aggressive, as I couldn't let her dominate. It's very special to defeat Kim in the final. I'd like to thank my team and I would like to dedicate this victory to my grandfather, who passed away last week."

Clijsters, No.2 this week but rising to No.1 on Monday by virtue of passing the quarterfinals here, was in good form but couldn't fend off the extreme aggression from Kvitova, who had lost to Clijsters handily in both previous meetings. The 20-year-old Czech was unrelenting on her service games, firing 10 aces throughout the match; she was also dangerous on the return, breaking serve five times.

In the end, Kvitova won her third career WTA title, having taken International-level titles at Hobart in 2009 and Brisbane early this season. She is now 3-1 in finals (she was runner-up at Linz in 2009, losing to Wickmayer in the final).

Clijsters, who had won her last 12 matches in a row (a stretch that included her Australian Open title run), is now 41-19 in career finals on the WTA. She will rise to No.1 on Monday, her 20th career week at the top of the rankings, but first in almost five years (her last stint there ended in March 2006).

"My opponent was just better today," Clijsters said. "I couldn't play my best because she put so much pressure on me. I had to go for it because if I put it in her hitting zone, she was dominating. If she continues to play like that, she will be Top 10 before long. She is so much fitter and moves better than last year."


Carlos said...

First of all I want to wish you Captain a very Happy Valentine's Day! I hope that you spend it along with your love ones, family, friends, and that special someone. :)

I read that Kim said she had a neck injury. I don't know if the injury was bad enough to derail her run or she was making an excuse.

Another well deserve high five from me to you Captain. You call it yesterday "Kvitova will bring it to Kim". Kvitova did and then some.

It did came back to bit my derriere. Note to self, 'Never break my own rules'.

To me, regardless of the loss Kim is still dominating the game of tennis. She has been in all the finals she has played in this year. even though The Kookie Monster has 1-2 record in finals it appears that an opponent must go through her in order to win a title.

This victory and specially the performance through out this tournament puts Kvitova on the map. No question the kid has what it takes to be a top ten player. She has done what the former number one The Big Stuffed Bunny has not done, beat The Kookie Monster and have a convincing title run.

Did Kvitova wore a better sports bra? :P

caps321 said...

I watched the match and think Kim got spanked! That said, Kvitova is definitely someone to watch and I'd much rather see her in the top ten than that over stuffed bunny.

Concerning the neck injury - After a cursory search, I found these two items:

"New world number one Kim Clijsters refused to blame a slight neck injury for a 6-4 6-3 defeat by Czech fourth seed Petra Kvitova in the Paris Open final on Sunday."

"Clijsters had a neck problem and appeared fatigued after a triumphant start to the year, but Kvitova coped admirably with the pressure of facing such an experienced opponent, who was appearing in her fifth straight final."

That said, I didn't see the presser or full interview. Not sure where this neck phenomena originated from. (I think her husband mentioned she had a stiff neck during the Aussie Open.)

Carlos said...

Caps321, This is the quote that I read, (by the looks of it was the on court interview after the match), "I had a little bit of a neck problem but it's not an excuse. She deserved to win". Source: Fox News.

If the neck didn't bother The Kookie Monster why bring it up in the first place?

caps321 said...

I found a couple more quotes. So, I'm willing to give her a pass on the "neck" excuse. Because of the following:

"She put me under lots of pressure when she played in the middle of the court," said Clijsters. "As a result, I wasn't able to develop my best game."

"Thanks everyone! Petra was too good today... We had a great week in Paris. Was able to look relax in the city and appreciate it even more!"

Btw, can you share your nick name list? These are all I know so far:

Kimmie - Kookie Monster
Maria - Princess
Woz - The big stuffed bunny


Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Hmm this nick isssue is quite interesting. I have no doubt that there was an injury, I just wonder the seriousness of it, and if it was relevant bringing it up in the first place!

Carlos, thank you for your Valentine's message! And yes I did pick it! I must be doing something right, I've gotten nearly all my tips right lately!

I hope for everyone's sake she did! Im not sure If I have told you this or not, but I read in the newspaper (after the AO) that channel 7 (the tennis broad caster in Australia) had to film her (when serving) from a higher level, to preserve her modesty! Due to a plunging neck line on her top! I found it quite funny!

Caps321, I think Kvitova will definatly be top 10 by the end of the year!

Also on behalf of Carlos, I hope he doesn't mind! Ahaha but some other of his nicknames are;

Masha - Divapova
Bartoli - Sponge Bart Square Pants
and of course Ivanovic - The Fist Pumping Imbecile

But Im sure he has more!

Carlos said...

I was just writing the entire list Captain when I saw your post. :P

I don't mind at all.

Your Welcome Captain!

I noticed the plunging neck line when she was returning serve. I'll leave at that.

No problem Caps 321 and Captain here is the entire list:

Emily = Captain

Kim C. = Kookie Monster

M.Kirilenko = The Princess*

M. Sharapova = Divapova

C. Wozniacki = The Big Stuffed Bunny

A. Ivanovic = The Fist Pumping Imbecile

A. Chakvetadze = Lickitongue

M. Bartoli = Sponge Bart Square Pants

A. Cornet = Moi Lolita

Y. Wickmayer = Wicki, Wicki, Wicki

*For Kirilenko it was The Self Proclaim Princess. I got this from an interview which she said that people were coming up to her and tell her that she was pretty like a princess. I said to myself, 'Who are this people? She never said who this people were, family, friends and boyfriend don't count. It is a self proclaimed title'. But Captain Emily started calling her The Princess, it was no longer a self proclaimed title so I decided to switch the nickname to The Princess. Just to let you know on the history of the nickname since you like the nickname.

Captain's nicknames that I know:

Kimmie = Kim Kong

A. Petkovic = Petko

Would love to see her entire list, pretty please? :P

Caps321 I hope it helps. Do you have nicknames for players that you would like to share?

caps321 said...

Carlos, I don't have any nick names!

The Fist Pumping Imbecile - hahahahahaha now that is some funny stuff! I used to be an Ivanovic fan but had to bail on her. It seems she started playing like crap when she had a boyfriend. Strangely, some women can handle it and others completely lose it. Unless of course you think she lost her way after getting to #1?

Still feel sorry for Chakvetadze. It seems her career went down the toilet after getting robbed and tied up or something.

IMO, Bartoli could greatly benefit by dumping her dad/coach and getting some fresh perspective.

Cornet is going to be a lot better in the future. I think she also had the "fist pumping imbecile" problem with not being able to handle a tennis career and boyfriend at the same time.

Thanks, Emily!

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Carlos, you put pressure one me! I can't remember my nickname :P I will have to devise a list and get back too you!

Caps321, It was terrible what happened to Chakvetadze! I feel incredibly sorry for her! But I thing the worse bit was the media wasn't able to drop it! Every time she lost they bought it up again, and tried to blame the loss on the incident!

Also, with Cornet, I think she could have been top 10! But like you said she struggled with a boyfriend, but IMO she also struggled with being "The Next Amilie Mauresmo" it was allot of pressure put on her, and sadly she couldn't deal with it!

No problem Caps321!

Carlos said...

Lickitongue was already spirialing down when the horrible incident happened. Unfortunately the incident accelerated her downward spiral. At the time I thought she came back to tennis very quick. Later on she admitted in an interview that she came back to tennis too quickly.

Moi Lolita, I agree with both you it was a combination of boyfriend and pressure.

Both Moi Lolita and Lickitongue spiraled down at the same time and as the Captain pointed out both are coming back simultaneously ; kind of wierd.

Haha I didn't mean to put pressure on you Captain, take your time. :P I'm just wondering what will you come up with. :P

Captain and Caps321, I also used to be a Fist Pumping Imbecile's fan. She got the number one ranking when she defeated JJ in the semis of RG 08. She went ahead to defeat Dinara in the final. It was the last time that I rooted for her, coincidentally she went down the toilet after her slam win.

caps321 said...

I see lots of empty seats at Dubai.

caps321 said...

Is there anything better than watching Schnyder work over the fist pumping imbecile?

Chakvetadze also handled Hantuchova very easily. (Although she seemed to be out of breath quite often -- not sure if its heat related or she's sick.)

Carlos said...

So much for Dani h. comeback. Lickitongue is not suited to play in the heat.

Schyder just made my day hahaha.

Wicki,Wicki,Wicki over the young Serb Bojana in three sets. That means JJ is the only remaining Serb in this tourney. JJ will face Jeepers Scheepers in the second round.

Peng over the American Bethanie. I'm still mad at Bethanie so I'll say this, it was a nice way for Bethanie to follow her lack luster semis performance in Paris by losing in the first round in this tournament. I still saying to keep an eye on Peng.

Pennetta smoked the Captain's favorite good guy Dokic. Dokic should have been in Memphis she would have racked victories, points, and cash. This is the second time in a row that Dokic gets smoked by a top 20 player. She needs more playing time to get her game up and be ready for the top contenders.

I'll point out the Princess lost yesterday in Dubai in straight sets. This is the second time in a row The Princess gets spank in the first round. Now I have a chance to say this, "Jeepers The Princess lost to Scheepers". :P Did The Princess once again started to wear the Stella McCurse outfits? :P

Also yesterday Captain's good guy Sponge Bart Square Pants defeated Kimiko to davance to the second round.

Another of the Captain's good guy Groth, took down Cibulkova.

Kvitova couldn't repeat her Paris performance she was upset in the first round. My theory will become a law pretty soon. Players who participate in back to back tournaments, the ones who go deep in the first tournament can't follow their success in the next one.

Yet another of the Captain's good guys Peer cruised, Petko wobble but won.

Oudin won her first round in Memphis while the top seed was upset.

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