After seeing Petra Kvitova completely dominate a helpless Naomi Broady in the second round of the Aegon Classic, 6-2, 6-2, it is fair to say that Kvitova is putting herself forward as one to watch at this year’s Wimbledon, which is unbelievable to even consider after all the Czech has been through in recent months.
It was only her fourth match back since returning from injury, having played two matches at Rolan Garros, and winning her opening round on the grass. Today was by far the most impressive performance of the lot as she controlled proceedings from start to finish against a player that usually plays well on the zippy grass courts.
The match started off rather competitive, with Broady holding her serve comfortably and sending down her big, powerful serve, but Kvitova would then find her feet in the fifth game, where she salvaged the first break. When the Czech could get a hand on the serve of Broady and neutralise the power of the serve, she often turned the rally into her favour.
Broady is renowned for her main strengths, her serve and her ability to finish points off quickly. Once Kvitova could get the rally started you really started to see the major weaknesses in Broady’s game. The return of serve is something the British Wild Card has always struggled with, which sets her back in a lot of her matches, but also her defensive game is non-existent.
Kvitova played to her strengths, got the most out of her quick-fire, left-handed serve and got her severe forehand into play as much as possible. Some shots throughout the duration of the match were reminiscent of the sort of tennis that Kvitova played to power her way to a first Wimbledon title in 2011.
Kvitova would go on to take the set by dropping just two games. Broady looked like she could provide a considerable comeback in the second, when she took the two-time Wimbledon champion to deuce at 2-1*, but a sloppy game in the fifth game of the second set proved terminal as the match quickly moved away from Broady instantaneously.
There was nothing that moved or surprised her from Broady’s game today as she stated in her post match press conference afterwards.
“Actually, I was prepared for that game which she showed today. So I expected big serve and big forehand with a little bit of slice from there. But I knew I needed to wait for some chance to break her, I think from that point she was a little bit down in the set always.”
You could tell that the Czech megastar was content, satisfied and in approval of the way that she played, but established with the press that she still needed to improve a few things.
“I think I played a solid game, but I still think that I do still have things what I can improve, which is always good to have. But I think I’m still not playing what I probably could play, but it’s always taking some time and it will come with the time and the practices and matches. It was the fourth match after my comeback and I didn’t think I’m playing badly.”
Stronger tests lie ahead for Kvitova on the grass courts, but today’s performance would ring alarm bells to the rest of the Wimbledon field as one of the great grass court players tries to make one of the most spectacular of arrivals and comebacks in London next month.