Nine percent break point conversion rate, that’s what best describes Petra Kvitova’s performance in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix semifinal against Maria Sharapova. In the end, Sharapova won just two points more than her opponent and advanced to her fourth final of the season with a 6-4 7-6(3) victory.
Whether the Russian will win her first title of 2012 will be determined in the final against top seed Victoria Azarenka, who cruised past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1 6-3, which is her fifth victory over the Pole this year (actually, Radwanska hasn’t lost to anyone else this season).
In the first set, at 2-2 Sharapova led 40-0 on Kvitova’s serve, and even though the Czech didn’t give the game away easily, Sharapova used her fourth break opportunity to earn a crucial break of the set which she eventually won 6-4.
The second set was even steadier result-wise, as the first break of serve happened in the eleventh game. But what was frustrating for the third-seeded Kvitova was that she had eight break opportunities until 5-5, including a set point, while Sharapova had none, and after saving that set point and winning her service game, in the eleventh game Sharapova broke Kvitova’s serve. It wasn’t over, though. Serving for the match, the second-seeded Sharapova needed to fend off more break opportunities and Kvitova finally converted her 11th one to force a tiebreak. The momentum was Sharapova’s still, and she ended Kvitova’s 27 indoor match winning streak.
By the way, notice that the semifinals of Stuttgart featured the top four ranked players. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)
Once again the best two players in the WTA meet for the title and also a Porsche! If this keeps up, my 2012 predictions for #1 and #2 will come true.
A pretty unnerving match, unnerving tennis, with hardly any rhythm, any flow. Both these players are fearless and have mighty “weapons” (based on their physical advantage of height and built) – but that’s about it, so that most of the time it boils down to who’ll make less unforced errors – the rare moments of unexpected moves are not sought by but rather forced upon them by circumstances (a lucky miss-hit by the opponent, a bad ball-bounce, a net-cord intrusion, and the like…) – an odd, once-in-a-blue-moon, drop-shot or lob notwithstanding. Now, there might be, in all this, some thrill of sheer competing (both for them and their fans), but, watching this, I can’t help but miss the sheer joy of *playing*, resulting in abundant creativity, which surely makes the essence of this, or any other, *game*.
For me what best describes Kvitova’s poor performance on her break points opportunities are the HUGE services from Sharapova on those break points. IMO, the story is about Sharapova, not Kvitova
go maria you can beat vika. i love you good luck…………
Kvitova is not on the same level as Sharapova and Azarenka and not nearly as consistent as Radwanska.