Kvitova crowned queen of Wimbledon with upset of Sharapova

Kvitova crowned queen of Wimbledon with upset of Sharapova

Petra Kvitova claimed the first Grand Slam title of her career with a 6-3, 6-4 upset of 2004 champion Maria Sharapova Saturday, as the Czech stayed cool under pressure to stun the heavily favoured Russian fifth seed.

Sharapova was badly let down by a shaky serve, which produced six double faults in the 82-minute defeat, dpa reported.

Kvitova, who will move from her current 62nd to a projected seventh on Monday, fired her only ace of the match with perfect timing - on the first of her three match points.

The winner was the first woman from the Czech Republic to win a Grand Slam event since Jana Novotna took the title in 1998.

Novotna and fellow former compatriot Martina Navratilova were in the stands for the Kvitova win.

"It's hard to find some words, but I'm standing here with the trophy," said Kvitova, 21. "I'm so happy," she added, close to tears.

"I was nervous but I felt I would also win. I had to focus on each point, this might have been the best match I've ever played."

Sharapova, winner of three career majors, suffered with her serve, at one stage sending over three straight double-faults over the course of two games.

"Unfortunately, there is only one winner at the end of the day," said the California-based Russian. "I have to congratulate her on a wonderful victory.

"Of course I would have wanted to be here holding the big one, but this will inspire me to come back and try for it again."

The delivery difficulties which have begun creeping into her re-tooled game did not help Sharapova in the opening set, which began with back-to-back breaks.

But Kvitova settled first and then imposed her game with a break for 4-2 as Sharapova lost it with a pair of double-faults.

The problems continued on the Russian's next service game, which also began with a serving error to hand Kvitova a lead. The 21-year-old took advantage, forcing Sharapova to save a set point before holding for 3-5.

But a game later, the Czech challenger pocketed the set on the first of three set points on a return to the net from Sharapova after 40 minutes.

The second set quickly turned into a horror story for the former champion with Sharapova broken in the first game as a Kvitova return just caught the back of the baseline on an electronic replay.

A run of four consecutive breaks from the fourth through seventh games still left Kvitova holding a 4-3 lead.

The eighth seed made it 5-3, with Sharapova keeping up the fight at 4-5.

But Kvitova served out for victory a game later, ending the afternoon with 18 winners and three breaks of serve.

Kvitova has now won four titles this season on different surfaces: Brisbane (hardcourt), Paris (indoors), Madrid (clay) and the grass of Wimbledon.

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