Petra Kvitova defeated Sara Errani 6-4 6-4 in the Australian Open quarterfinals, but before previewing her semi against Maria Sharapova, our stats pro Omair is giving us a closer look at the numbers behind her victory in the final eight. As an introduction, you can check out our yesterday's quarterfinal preview.
Kvitova took the Rod Laver Arena today knowing that she must get to the semifinals in order to have a shot at the top spot, since her rival Victoria Azarenka had already moved to the semifinals. I guess, that was what motivated Kvitova to come out of the 4-1 deficit and defeat Errani in straight sets.
Errani entered the Rod Laver Arena today knowing well that if she gets past Kvitova today, she will not only end Kvitova's dream of attaining the top spot and winning another major but will also become the first Italian ever to reach the Australian Open semifinals.
Errani fought well, but by the end Kvitova's fire was more than Errani could handle. Her brave play, aided by Kvitova's errors, saw her move ahead to 4-1 in the second set, but only for Kvitova to regroup and win five straight games from there on to put an end to Errani's dream of being the first ever Italian to reach Aussie Open semis.
Let's see what the number tell us:
Errani's winning percentage dropped dramatically on her first and second serves in the quarterfinal match and that caused her decline. She stepped it up a bit for half of the second set, but then she lost it completely and ultimately ended up losing the match.
Kvitova once again showed us that she can win matches even when she is not at her best, but can she keep it up against her semifinal opponent or against the high-ranked players, remains to be seen. As for the stats, Kvitova's winning percentage on first serve dropped, but despite that she ended up winning the match. The stats speak for themselves.
Kvitova is in her first Australian Open semifinal and in the hunt for the top spot. Tomorrow's results will leave us with only two contenders for the top spot, will it Azarenka and Kvitova or Azarenka and Sharapova or Sharapova and Kvitova, remains to be seen. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)