Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova won her maiden Grand Slam title with a 6-3 6-4 dismissal of Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.
The 21-year-old, who becomes the first Czech to win the title since Jana Novotna in 1998, served out the match to love with her first ace of the day on championship point.
Kvitova had never won a match on grass before her surprise run to the semi-finals at the All England Club and becomes just the third left-hander to win the title after Ann Jones and Martina Navratilova.
Kvitova looked anything but nervous in her first major final as she out-hit and out-manoeuvred Sharapova, making just 13 unforced errors during the 85-minute match. “I’m so happy,” the tearful champion said in an on-court interview before blowing a kiss to Novotna and Navratilova watching from the Royal Box. “I was nervous but I had to focus on every point.”
Sharapova, who also won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, as a 17-year-old in 2004, won the toss and opted to receive, a tactic that looked to have worked well as she immediately broke the Kvitova serve to get off the mark. But the eighth seed, who also beat world number four Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals, bounced back straight away, with a series of blistering forehands that left Sharapova flailing on the baseline.