Petra Kvitova has defeated the unseeded American who had never won a Grand Slam main draw match until last week, Danielle Collins to advance to the Final of the 2019 Australian Open 7-6(2) 6-0. It is Kvitova’s first Grand Slam final since she won Wimbledon in 2014 and her first final in Melbourne Park.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 24: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates match point in her Women’s Semi Final match against Danielle Collins of the United States during day 11 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
It was a scorching 38 degrees Celsius in Melbourne, as the Australian sun shined down on Rod Laver Arena, meaning the conditions favoured Collins, who comes from Florida.
Collins was the first to break serve in the first set, doing so in the fifth game, when she attacked Kvitova’s second serve, sending the ball cross court, forcing the Czech to hit the ball long. Collins was unable to consolidate the break despite saving four break points, but Kvitova broke back on her fifth break point with a forehand winner to level the score at 3-3.
With the new extreme heat policy, which is based on a scale of 1-5, the roof of Rod Laver Arena was closed as the scale reached 5 at 4-4. Collins did not favour this decision, whereas Kvitova was extremely pleased.
“I like play indoors so it (closing the roof) really I think helped me a little bit.” Kvitova said during her on-court interview after the match.
The set was eventually taken to a tie-break as there were no more breaks of serve. Kvitova stormed ahead, and had four set points. She only needed one, winning the tiebreak 7-2 with a forehand winner, therefore taking the first set.
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Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 24: Danielle Collins of the United States plays a forehand in her Women’s Semi Final match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during day 11 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Kvitova’s form only got better from here, as she totally dominated the second set, not allowing Collins to win a single game. There were calls on the American’s serve which she didn’t agree with, causing her to be frustrated, possibly contributing to her loss of momentum. But winners from Kvitova, especially in the moments where it mattered most, allowed her to run away with the match.
Kvitova played 30 winners throughout the match, whereas Collins only managed 9.
“It (reaching the final) means everything I think, you know that why I really work very hard to be in the final of the tournaments, final of the major.” Kvitova said post match. “Finally I could make it kind of deep in this major and I will really enjoy the final, and, yeah, what ever happened I’m already very very happy.”
The Czech is currently on an 11 match winning streak, as she took the Sydney International title just two days before the Australian Open began. She is also yet to drop a set in her path to the final at the Australian Open.
Kvitova will face either Naomi Osaka or Karolina Pliskova was a chance to lift the Daphne Akhurst trophy. All three of these women have never reached the Australian Open final before, and they also all in the running to leave Melbourne with the no. 1 ranking. Whoever wins the title, becomes the world no. 1.