Kvitova proves too good

Kvitova proves too good

Ana lost 6-2, 7-6 to world No.2 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Ana had served superbly in the opening rounds of the tournament, but it was her delivery that undid her today: the 24-year-old served seven double faults, including two in the second set tiebreak when the momentum was with her. Ana also struggled with her return of serve and these two factors proved decisive.

The 21st seed began slowly. Though she held her opening service game, the Czech was by far the sharper player during the opening set and she broke Ana twice to win it 6-2.

When the reigning Wimbledon champion broke to lead in the second set the writing was on the wall. However, Ana rallied late on and earned her first break as Kvitova served for the match at 5-4. 

It was now that Ana played her best tennis of the match and the tiebreak looked like an intriguing prospect, with the former world No.1 arguably on top. However, Ana's hopes of leveling the match diminished as she served two double faults in the opening four points and from there Kvitova surged forward to clinch victory in an hour and 25 minutes.

"It was a tough match, definitely," said Ana. "I really struggled with the rhythm in the beginning. She is a tough opponent. You really have to get that [first] hit on the ball, otherwise she likes to dominate and step up and take her chances.

"I really felt I was lacking that in the first set and sort of in the second set. In the second set I started to serve a lot better, which helped me to come to one-all, two-all. Then I really fought back hard trying to come back and started to strike the ball a lot better.

"You know, it was just really a pity that I didn't use opportunities I had. But she served really well.  She's playing well. Being lefty it's also really hard to read her serve.
"But I really tried hard and today. Just the rhythm was lacking a bit."

Kvitova expressed relief that she was able to close out the match, just as Ana was finding her form. She said: "I am happy that I won the second set because in the end it was very tough to come back. I'm lucky that I'm not playing a third set."