by Helen Earnshaw |
Petra Kvitova reached her second consecutive Wimbledon semi final with a three set win over Tsvetana Pironkova.
The eighth seed has been barely troubled over the last two weeks as she has powered her way through the draw.
Play on Court 1 was delayed by two hours because of heavy rain but the two women finally got on the court - and it was Kvitova who made the quicker start.
She showed her intentions in the opening game as she broke Pironkova before holding her own serve.
While Pironkova did get on the board the set was dominated by Kvitova, who raced out to a 5-1 lead in just twenty minutes.
Pironkova did get one of the breaks back but it was too little too late as Kvitova sealed the opener 6-3.
Into the second and Pironkova looked more comfortable as she broke Kvitova in the fifth to edge ahead.
But the eight seed hit back three games later to level the set at 4-4. With neither woman able to make the decisive breakthrough a tie break was needed.
Kvitova had the early mini break as she opened up a 4-1 lead - but Pironkova hit back to level the match at a set a piece.
Kvitova wasn't rattled by throwing about her lead in the second set as she got the early break to lead 3-1 and never looked back.
She booked her place in her second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 win.
Speaking to the WTA after the match Kvitova said: "At the beginning I was better and played like my matches before, but then I got a little nervous. I made some easy mistakes.
"I was so happy I won the first game in the third set, that I broke her. It got better from there."
Kvitova will be looking to go one step further than 12 months ago, falling to Serena Williams, but she will face a tough test in Victoria Azarenka - the highest seed left in the draw.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw