LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Former champion Petra Kvitova moved within one match of capturing a second Wimbledon title, ending the plucky resistance of Lucie Safarova 7-6(6) 6-1 in their all-Czech semi-final on Thursday.
Safarova, 27, had been given little chance against her 24-year-old friend, having lost all five of their previous meetings. But the 23rd seed pulled out all the stops as the big-hitting left-handers slugged it out from the baseline in the first set.
After clinching the first set in a tiebreaker with an unstoppable forehand cross-court return, Kvitova stepped up a gear to extinguish Safarova's hopes.
Standing in the way of Kvitova's second Wimbledon crown is the winner of the second semi-final between Romania's Simona Halep, the third seed, and Canadian 20-year-old Eugenie Bouchard, seeded 13th. (Reporting by David Goodman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)