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.