Kvitova in and upstarts flex muscles
LONDON - Former champion Petra Kvitova swept into her second Wimbledon final with a 7-6 6-1 win over fellow Czech and close friend Lucie Safarova yesterday.
Kvitova won her only grand slam title at Wimbledon in 2011 and the sixth seed is one more victory away from lifting the Venus Rosewater dish for the second time after seeing off 23rd seed Safarova with 24 winners and eight aces in 80 minutes on Centre Court.
l Young upstarts Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov have caused quite a stir at Wimbledon over the last two weeks with a string of fine performances, but the pair know they must rise to the challenges that await them in the men's semifinals today.
With defending champion Andy Murray booted out of the tournament by Dimitrov and Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios dismantling two-time winner Rafael Nadal, only Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic remain from the so-called Big Four in men's tennis.
The emergence of the young guns has been the topic of conversation at the All England Club and an expectant Centre Court crowd will wait with baited breath to see how Raonic and Dimitrov compete against two of the game's most accomplished performers.
Eighth seed Raonic, who became the first Canadian to reach Wimbledon's last four since 1908, comes up against seven-time champion Federer, while Bulgarian Dimitrov meets 2011 winner and top seed Djokovic for a place in the final.
Raonic has not beaten Federer in four attempts but the 23-year-old, who regularly thunders 217km/h serves past his opponents, is confident he can unsettle the silky Swiss with his brutal shots.
"I've got in close with him in the past and I've found a lot of things that give me belief that I can do this," said Raonic who beat Kyrgios in Wednesday's quarterfinal.
Twenty-three -year-old Dimitrov, who is the first Bulgarian man to reach the last four of a grand slam, took third seed Murray apart with consummate ease during Wednesday's straight sets victory .