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Saturday 16 December 2017

Kvitova backed for a second crown

Petra Kvitova has been backed to cap a decade's transformation from "just a girl from a Czech village" to a double Wimbledon champion.

Kvitova saw off compatriot Lucie Safarova in a straight-sets victory on Thursday, to set up a final showdown with Canada's Eugenie Bouchard today. Safarova remembers 
24-year-old Kvitova arriving at top Czech tennis academy Prostejov 10 years ago - and revealed pride at her close friend's progress even after her semi-final defeat.

Kvitova stormed past Safarova 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 to set up her second final appearance, three years after claiming the Wimbledon title.

"I remember when she was 14 and she first came to Prosjetov," said 27-year-old Safarova. "She was very much just a girl from a Czech village. It's nice to see how she has improved, because that has been huge throughout the years. She's a top player.

"She's my friend so once the match was done I just wished her all the best - I hope she's going to win it."

Kvitova will face ice cold Canadian Bouchard, who is refusing to allow herself any celebration after securing her maiden grand slam final appearance.

After her 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 victory over Simona Halep in a one-sided semi-final, Bouchard said: "I feel my job is not done here, so there's no need for a huge celebration, because I'm still working.

"I still have another match. I felt very calm in general (against Halep). I was proud of myself, but I know I have another step."

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