Leave Kvitova alone to enjoy Wimbledon title


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The women's game has been crying out for a dominant player for some time now and, based on today's showing, it would appear that it may just have found one in the six foot (1.83m) shape of Petra Kvitova.

Clearly the girl can handle pressure.

Having never won a match on grass before, the then 20-year-old turned up at Wimbledon 12 months ago ranked 62 in the world and stormed through to the semi-finals where she eventually came undone against Serena Williams.

Fast-forward a year and the big-serving left-hander has shot up through the ranks to eight in the world and now has her first Grand Slam title to her name.

Possessing a ferocious forehand that would leave Tramlines desperately scrambling up the back fence in an attempt to get away if we were ever to meet the Czech player down our local club, Kvitova out-hit everyone in her path at the All England Club this fortnight, including a rejuvenated Maria Sharapova in the final.

But far from it being th

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e power of her ground-strokes, however, that will have left many a pundit staring open mouthed, it was the 21-year-old's mental strength that Tramlines was particularly impressed by.

Playing in her first Grand Slam final against a three-times major champion, Kvitova rarely looked troubled by the occasion, perhaps excepting the opening game and on a couple of serves in the middle of the second set.

Not only did she prove she has the game to win many a Grand Slam title in her career, Kvitova also suggested she has the mental capacity to dominate the women's tour, serving out both the first set, and more impressively also the match, to love.

You have to go all the way back to 1994 to find the last occurrence of a first-time Grand Slam finalist lifting the Venus Rosewater dish in SW19, when Spaniard Conchita Martinez beat Martina Navratilova (coincidentally one of Kvitova's heroes) in three sets.

Outside Wimbledon, Francesca Schiavone was obviously a first-time finalist when she won the French Open last year; although so was her opponent on that day, Sam Stosur. At the Australian Open it was Jennifer Capriati in 2001 and at the US Open, Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2004.

But Tramlines would like to exercise caution.

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She may well be able to shrug it off but it would be unfair for the world to heap the pressure of "saving the women's game" on to the shoulders of Kvitova.

Not for one second does TL believe that the Czech player will be left alone after this victory, after all Caroline Wozniacki is still roundly blamed for being world number one despite it not being the Dane's fault that the ranking system works that way. Sure the fact that she seems unable to produce her best tennis in the Slams is frustrating but she is an incredibly consistent player and with Serena and Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters not playing enough, TL can understand Woznaicki's place at the top of the rankings.

Ever the optimist though, TL lives in hope that Kvitova is not leapt upon as the new heroine of women's tennis and instead is allowed just to get on with what she does terrifyingly well: hitting the yellow fluff off balls and winning matches around the world.

Now wouldn't that be refreshing?!


A day after Andy Murray was beaten yet again by Rafael Nadal in the men's semi-finals, Brit Liam Broady fell just short of winning the boys' title, eventually going down in three sets to Australia's Luke Saville.

In a country jam-packed with heroic failures, TL could not help but think the 17-year-old from Stockport will fit in well with the nation's sporting stars.


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lready a set up, Broady looked like he had the title wrapped up when he broke in the opening game of the second set.

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to compatriot Lleyton Hewitt in his style of play, Aussie battler Saville broke back three games later before fighting back from another break down later in the set and eventually going on to win the title.

Of course, it was hugely impressive for the 15th seeded Broady to have even got as far as the championship match, Saville being the more experienced of the two players as he had already reached the Australian Open boys' final earlier this year.

But Brits being what they are, they can't resist building someone up only to knock them down when they fall just short.

TL would love to be the fourth best in the world at what it does, a la Andy Murray, and assumes that many people would also love to lay claim to that.

Doesn't stop us all from criticising from afar though, does it?


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Excited for the royal wedding here in Monaco today:)" Quickly followed by "On my way to Hamburg to watch the world heavyweight title fight!" See Caroline Wozniacki, losing early at Wimbledon does have its advantages!

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