Wimbledon: Serena Williams to final

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Petra Kvitova introduced herself to the world as an aggressive player with the will to play tennis at the net, to hit volleys, to move forward, and that sometimes worked for her Thursday at Wimbledon. The 20-year-old from the Czech Republic set Serena Williams on her heels often, especially in the first set.

But when she needed it, Williams, the 28-year-old No. 1-seeded player and the defending champion, relied on what commentator Lindsay Davenport calls the best shot in women’s tennis, the first serve, to win easy points and move on to the Wimbledon final with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over the left-handed Kvitova, who is ranked 62nd in the world and had never experienced such a moment.

Williams’ serving prowess was evident in the final game of the match. She hit a service winner for 15-0; another for 30-0; a third for 40-0. It allowed her to make a couple of errors before finally winning the match with the help of a lucky net-cord bounce on match point. Williams did an elaborate curtsy at the end, showing it off for a second time though she never did it for the queen of England. Williams had missed that chance when she was put on Court 2 last week and Queen Elizabeth II went to Centre Court.

Now Williams will play in her sixth Wimbledon final, against 21st-seeded Vera Zvonareva on Saturday.

‘I don’t have anything to lose going into the finals, and she doesn’t either,’ Williams said.

-- Diane Pucin in Wimbledon, England