For the Generation
July 3, 2011 2 Comments
It’s barely a month (or maybe not even that much) since I wrote my post for Roland Garros semifinals. The post is here, and I will summarize it: the French Open was a clear proof the ‘new generation’ (i.e.: Azarenka, AggieRad, Wozniacki, etc.) was not ready, and that experience was speaking louder. It even made sense. Until Wimbledon.
The common denominator – Maria Sharapova – gives us the picture. From the youngest lady in the last four of Paris to the older in London in a matter of weeks. Why? Heck, it’s beyond my comprehension of the game and not my main proposal here. What I know is: Kvitova became a trailblazer for the bunch of players born between 1989/90, even 91. She is like, the Hewitt of WTA right now: though there was a Safin to open the gates and put the new generation in the spotlight, Lleyton was the ‘best’ face of the ATP youngsters during the transition between the times of Sampras, Agassi and Rafter and the ones of Federer and Nadal (they pretty much overshadowed everyone else, though even so we had many many skilled players, who unfortunately couldn’t win a Grand Slam). Okay, it’s too early to state Kvitova will spend 80 weeks as #1, but the prospects are good. And you get the concept.
(That being said, I compare Wozniacki to Safin: still very young, they were the first of their respective generations to reach the top. But differently from Safin, Wozniacki maintained it for a longer period. On the other hand, Safin ascended after winning a Grand Slam – and despite hating this expression, I’ll have to use it: Marat had “more competition”).
How did Kvits make it? You know the word fear? Because Petra doesn’t – at least not on a tennis court. And what about “nerves”? Because they (along with the forehand) are one of Kvitova’s best friends. Owner of a very pleasant (in my opinion, of course) and delightful styles – read: hitting it as hard as you can – Kvitova had only one shaky moment in the entire match today, when, in the second set, alternated two or three breaks with Maria.
But hell, when she had to serve for it – as a spectator, I claim this to be the most ungrateful part of the sport – she didn’t drop a single point. No DFs, no UFEs. Love hold, crowned with an ace. 6/3, 6/4 and the Plate, for the 10th time, goes to a lefty Czech. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Or does it when you consider she was playing Maria Sharapova in her first Major final? And is it me or somehow, Kvitova’s title resembles Sharapova’s own Wimbledon? I mean, both were still young (21 is the new 17; get used to the new WTA), playing former #1s, multi-champions, whose quality is beyond question. And winning. Needless to say what kind of career Maria went on to pursue after that.
Finishing, plain and simple: even though Wozniacki made the first move, becoming the first player born in the 1990s to become world #1, Petra Kvitova answered by winning Wimbledon – which some people (me included) consider an even bigger statement. It’s now up to the others show they can echo Petra’s Slam success – and prove the ‘new generation’ of women’s tennis is more than a bunch of brainless screamers, who can’t keep it together for more than four or five games without collapsing and going down in flames, double-faults and unforced errors.