The women’s final at Wimbledon will feature the surging Canadian Eugenie Bouchard against the former champion Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic.
On the strength of her consistent results the past few months, Bouchard appears to be an early favourite. But Kvitova, a left-hander, holds the edge in several key statistical areas heading into Saturday’s final.
A huge weapon for Kvitova is her ability to hit an ace to either extend her lead or get out of a jam. She leads the tournament with 38 aces, while Bouchard is a distant 17th with 15. This will be worth a point here or there in each set.
That also spills over to unreturned serves: 34 per cent of Kvitova’s serves have not come back into play, while 24 per cent of Bouchard’s serves have not been returned.
Bouchard has a slight edge in making first serves, at 65 per cent to 63 per cent, which will help to protect her weaker second serve. Kvitova has won 71 per cent of her first-serve points, while Bouchard is at 70 per cent (189/269).
But Kvitova ranks second for the tournament with 64 per cent of second-serve points won, and Bouchard is not in the top 25 in this category, winning 50 per cent.
Kvitova’s serve advantage also plays out in service games won, where she leads the tournament with 93 per cent. Bouchard’s 83 per cent is eighth.
When it comes to returning, Bouchard has a definite advantage.
Bouchard has made 79 per cent of her returns, ranking 17th for the tournament. Kvitova is a distant 74th in this all-important category, at 71 per cent. But Kvitova has registered 19 return winners to Bouchard’s 15.
Kvitova has won 43 per cent of her break points (22 of 51), slightly ahead of Bouchard’s 41 per cent (24 of 58).
Kvitova enjoys a healthy advantage in hitting winners, 23 per cent of her points, ranking fourth in the tournament. Bouchard ranked way back at 25th in this critical category, at 19 per cent.
But the players are evenly matched in forehand and backhand winners and unforced errors, so advantages should be seized when they can.
What may be worth a critical point here or there is play at the net. Kvitova has not made a single volley unforced error in the tournament, and she has been more successful on net points, winning 76 per cent (56 of 74) to Bouchard’s 72 per cent (63 of 88).
Kvitova has a narrow statistical edge going into Saturday’s final, but the intangibles in mental and emotional areas of the game will play a major role in who triumphs.