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A Mouthful of Steel.

Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2011

So looking forward to the quarterfinal between Petra Kvitova and Vera Zvonareva.

I’m more enamoured of Kvitova’s game every time I watch her. That swinging lefty can-opener serve out wide. That dead-eyed stare. The shots that consistently land inches away from the baseline. She’s beaten Samantha Stosur and now Flavia Pennetta to make it into the quarters, making her one of very few women who’ve gone into the second week of every Slam at least once in their career.

The problem with Kvitova is her lack of consistency, and that stems from having almost no margin for error in her game. She hits so deep and plays so aggressively that it can often take her a set to find her range and start hitting the lines. Like many in the women’s game, she isn’t particularly comfortable moving forward and that was fully exploited by Pennetta in the first set, who sliced and dropshotted and yanked Kvitova around, giving her no time to settle. The flaw in that approach for the Italian is that she’s only going to get the opportunity to do that if Kvitova handed it to her, and once the Czech lady settled and started hitting out, Pennetta was constantly on the back foot. It was a tough third set, but Kvitova’s big cross-court shots were landing and she won, 36 63 63. The only concern going forward is that she often seemed to be favouring her right hip.

Next up for Kvitova in the quarters is world no. 2 Vera Zvonareva, one of the few women who defends better than Pennetta. If Kvitova makes another slow start, as is her wont, she may not get the chance to get back in the match. Zvonareva wasn’t looking imposing in her defeat of Lucie Safarova, but she beat Iveta Benesova 64 61 last night and is as usual dangerously under the radar. Personally, I’d like to see Kvitova go all the way in this Slam, with her insane intensity and incongruously cute braces. It’s one of those matches where either woman is liable to grind up and spit out the other. Can’t wait.

Keep a weather eye on her.

One Response to “A Mouthful of Steel.”

  1. AmyLu said

    I’ve been impressed with Zvonareva — and what has impressed me is her ability to win without playing her best. She definitely started slowly against Benesova, but she didn’t panic and worked her way into the first set — and ended up winning it. I’m really curious to the match between these two — here’s hoping it’s actually shown on TV in the US.

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