After a wild fortnight, the time has come to crown the 2014 Wimbledon women's champion. On Centre Court Saturday, 2011 winner and No. 6 seed Petra Kvitova will challenge the 2012 Junior Wimbledon champion, No. 13 seed Eugenie Bouchard, for the title.
The 20-year-old Bouchard, perhaps best known for her crush on Canadian "bad boy" Justin Bieber, is seeking the first Grand Slam title in the history of Canadian women's tennis, in the first attempt at it for both her and her country. One of the rising stars on the WTA Tour, Bouchard has been building toward this final all season as she reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and French Open this year on the strength of her blitzing net game.
Her aggressive style, described by a coach as "hell," has paid off throughout the tournament: she's won more net points or a higher percentage of them in every single match outside of her first-round domination of an overmatched Daniela Hantuchova. She'll face much stiffer competition from Kvitova, whose commanding left-handed serve has led her to ultimate victory at the All England Club before and should at least somewhat neutralize the frenzy Bouchard creates up front.
Of all the former champions in the women's draw, Kvitova's was the name perhaps farthest down the list as a potential threat for the title. But, at only 24 years old and playing in easily her best Grand Slam tournament, she seems poised to regain at least some of the form that won her the WTA's 2010 Newcomer, 2011 Most Improved and 2011 Player of the Year awards.
If Bouchard or Kvitova can keep unforced errors to a minimum -- Kvitova has not had a single match where she erred less than her opponent and Bouchard only has one such match -- it would give them a significant advantage in what should be a clash of styles. The net-minded Bouchard must attempt to draw Kvitova away from her beloved baseline, and play her lack of speed against her if she hopes to overcome the stronger Czech.
As the game is being played on Centre Court -- with its fancy retractable roof -- the weather issues should have no effect on the outcome of this match, but nerves may, especially for the young Bouchard.
Television coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN. A complete schedule is listed below (all times Eastern):
TV schedule: 8 a.m. - Breakfast at Wimbledon; 9 a.m. - 2014 Wimbledon women's final (ESPN)