LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Serena Williams of USA celebrates match point during her Quarter Final match against Na Li of China on Day Eight of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Serena Will Defend Wimbledon Title Against Zvonareva In Ladies' Final On Saturday

SB Nation's Ben Rothenberg breaks down the Ladies' Singles semifinals action from Day 10 at Wimbledon.

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Wimbledon: Serena Williams Finishes Off Win Over Petra Kvitova, Makes Sixth Wimbledon Final

No. 1 Serena Williams is into her third straight and sixth career Wimbledon final after a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over unseeded Petra Kvitova in the second Ladies’ Singles semifinal on Centre Court on Day 10.

Serena raced out to a 40-0 lead in the final game, but stumbled slightly in the finish, dropping two points before a netcord at 40-30 gave her the somewhat anti-climactic win.

Oddly for a straight sets win, Kvitova ended the match with more winners than Williams, hitting 24 to only 19 by the defending champion.

Serena will take on No. 21 Vera Zvonareva in the Ladies’ Singles final on Saturday. The two have met six times, with Serena winning five of the six. Serena has won both of their career meetings at a grand slam, winning at the 2002 French Open and the 2007 US Open.


Wimbledon: Serena Williams Wins First Set Over Petra Kvitova In Tiebreak

After Kvitova was broken in the eighth game of the first set, two more holds from each player brought the first set to a deciding tiebreak.

Serena opened the tiebreak with a service winner up the middle. Kvitova challenged the call, but the ball clearly hit a good deal of the line. 1-0 Serena.

Serena then earned a quick minibreak as Kvitova tried to hit a deep forehand behind Serena, but powered it just long. 2-0 Serena.

On the next rally, Kvitova tried to go down the line with a forehand on the run, but hit it into the tape on the high part of the net near the post. 3-0 Serena.

Up two minibreaks, Serena hit a hard first serve that jammed Kvitova on her forehand side, forcing her return into the bottom of the net. 4-0 Serena.

Kvitova successfully challenged a would-be ace on Serena’s next service point, and then successfully approached off of a second serve return to bring herself to net, where she won the point with a deft forehand volley. 4-1 Serena.

Back on her own serve, Kvitova spun in an ace out-wide, short in the box to pull herself back into the breaker. 4-2 Serena.

Serena then was forced into a backhand error from the middle of the court off of a deep Kvitova shot up the middle on the next point. 4-3 Serena.

Kvitova had an open look at what would have been a forehand winner up the line to tie the breaker. But she made a mess of the low ball, sending it well wide of the doubles alley. 5-3 Serena.

Serena smelt blood, and hit an unreturnable serve up the middle to give herself a triple set point. 6-3 Serena.

After hitting her first serve wildly wide, a deep shot on Kvitova’s first groundstroke drew a forehand error from Serena in the top of the net. 6-4 Serena.

Kvitova then saved a second set point by jamming Serena with her serve on the backhand side, drawing a forced backhand error that floated well wide. 6-5 Serena.

But Serena conceded no more, winning the tiebreak 7-5 with a perfect serve into the wide corner that Kvitova could barely get a racquet on.

The 58 minute set puts the defending champion just a set away from her third consecutive Wimbledon final.


Wimbledon: No. 21 Vera Zvonareva Recovers, Outlasts Tsvetana Pironkova For Spot In Wimbledon Final

Russian No. 21 Vera Zvonareva has made her first career grand slam final with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over unseeded Tszvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.

Tszvetana Pironkova opened her first ever grand slam semifinal by winning the first set 6-3, by one break. It was the eleventh consecutive set Pironkova had won in the tournament, and the WTA No. 82 looked poised to run her way into a shocking spot in the final.

But Zvonareva remained steady, and kept pressure on Pironkova’s increasingly shaky forehand. She rolled through the second set, and despite some nervous moments in the third, won it as well by the convincing scoreline of 6-2.

Zvonareva took incredibly good care of her serve, and was not broken in either the second or third set. Pironkova broke No. 2 Venus Williams in four of her eight return games in the quarterfinal, so for Zvonareva to hold her to just one break in a longer match is extremely impressive.

Zvonareva, previously best known for tears on the court and breakdowns at crucial stages of matches, has certainly picked a good time in her career to become a pillar of mental fortitude.

She was previously known as a player who was easily beaten once she fell behind, but these past two rounds have seen her rally back from a set down for two of the biggest wins of her career, a grand slam final, and a place back in the top 10. None too shabby.

In her first grand slam final, Zvonareva would be a heavy underdog against No. 1 Serena Williams, and would probably be given only a 50/50 shot against Petra Kvitova. But she’s been proving the experts wrong all fortnight, and considering how well she’s playing (and especially serving), it would be foolish to count her out of any match any time soon.

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