On Saturday, Wimbledon will crown a new champion. Question is will it be 20-year-old Canadian superstar Eugenie Bouchard or 24-year-old 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova? Either way, both represent the new generation of women’s tennis.
Kvitova is not often mentioned in the new guard since she has been around for awhile, but she is only 24 with a prestigious Wimbledon title under her belt. Do not forget she defeated Maria Sharapova to win that title. During Wimbledon this year, she did not face an opponent in the top 10, but that does not take away from her brilliance on court. She only dropped one set and that was to five-time champion Venus Williams. Important note: She defeated Williams. She flew through the other rounds with flying colors and did not lose more than four games in a set except for Williams and the final set against fellow Czech player Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova in the semifinals.
People should not brush aside her defeat of Strycova even though she was unseeded. Strycova defeated second-seed Li Na in the third round in straight sets and defeated sixteenth-seed Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round 6-3, 6-0. Yes, Kvitova had help from Strycova, but Strycova was not a fluke and it is impressive Kvitova managed to beat her.
Bouchard is viewed as the new “it girl” in tennis. She is 20, bubbly, very attractive, and very friendly. She reached the semifinals at the Australian Open, French Open, and, of course, Wimbledon. She won the girls’ title in 2012 and only two years later she competes in the women’s final. Bouchard has not dropped a set at Wimbledon, but she lost more games than Kvitova. She also had help when Alize Cornet defeated first-seed Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber defeated Maria Sharapova. But, like Kvitova’s opponent Strycova, these young ladies are not flukes. Plus, Bouchard defeated third-seed Simona Halep in straight sets to advance to the finals. Look at the semifinal. It was filled with distractions from Halep’s hurt ankle to a sick woman in the stands, which interrupted play. Bouchard remained focused and did not allow them to distract her.
While Bouchard and Kvitova are not household names, the world should still pay attention. Both young ladies–and one in particular–will be quite well known after today.