WUHAN, China (AP) - Eugenie Bouchard will be hoping for a slightly different outcome when she plays Petra Kvitova for the inaugural Wuhan Open title on Saturday in a rematch of their Wimbledon final.
Kvitova overwhelmed Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 in 55 minutes to win her second Wimbledon trophy in July in what was the most lopsided women’s final in 22 years.
This time, the young Canadian says she’ll be ready.
“I hope tomorrow I can kind of do my thing more on the court and not get, I don’t know, maybe pushed around so much,” she said. “I need my revenge. I’m going to try really hard to get that.”
Both women advanced with dominating performances in the Wuhan semifinals on Friday. Kvitova saved five of six break points to beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 7-5, while Bouchard overpowered Caroline Wozniacki with heavy groundstrokes in a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
Kvitova will be aiming for her third title of the year - and more importantly, a spot in the season-ending WTA Championships in Singapore. Bouchard will be going for her second career title.
At the All England Club this summer, the big-hitting Czech left-hander never let Bouchard into the final. She put pressure on Bouchard’s serve and dictated points with aggressive groundstrokes from the baseline, keeping Bouchard off balance and out of sorts.
The Canadian said she learned a lot from her first Grand Slam final.
“I didn’t impose myself enough in the Wimbledon final, and she was the one kind of controlling the points all the time,” Bouchard said. “She played really, really well, so there wasn’t too much I could do.”
Kvitova, though, says it wasn’t as lopsided as it looked - and she expects just as tough a match in Wuhan.
“I don’t think that she was weak in Wimbledon,” she said. “She’s trying to take balls very early and she’s returning very well, so that’s something that she does great.”
Kvitova has struggled with her consistency since Wimbledon. She won a pre-U.S. Open tournament in New Haven, but days later crashed out in the third round in New York to 145th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia. She also lost her opening match in Cincinnati to Svitolina, their only previous meeting.
But Kvitova put aside distractions from the stifling humidity and the sounds of construction coming from the soon-to-be-completed, 15,000-seat center court being built at the Wuhan Open, to put Svitolina away.
After breaking to go up 6-5 in the second set, she wasted two match points with errors in the next game and then double-faulted to give Svitolina break point. Rather than get rattled, though, she saved the break point and closed out the match on her third attempt.
Bouchard similarly struggled in her U.S. hard-court campaign, going 1-3 before the U.S. Open and falling in the fourth round in New York.
Against Wozniacki, though, she rediscovered her form. She saved six of seven break points and kept the Dane on the defensive with penetrating shots and repeated charges to the net.
“I feel like I was very, very good, maybe up there with Wimbledon, maybe better,” Bouchard said.
Wozniacki, who was hampered by pain in her upper right hamstring, fell just short of reaching her third straight final, following her surprising run at the U.S. Open and her loss last week to Ana Ivanovic in the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Both she and Bouchard also still have a chance to qualify for Singapore.
“I’ve had a really good run,” Wozniacki said. “My game is feeling great.”
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