Kvitova began the year ranked No. 34, and she looked menacing through the first week in Australia. Then she didn’t show up for her quarterfinal with Vera Zvonareva. She looked very good again in the early stages at Roland Garros, before collapsing with a one-set lead over eventual champion Li Na.
All this time, though, Kvitova’s ranking had been rising, and she came to Wimbledon at a career-high No. 8. That number didn’t do justice to her potential, though, and she finally proved it over the course of the fortnight. Swinging with the self-assurance of a veteran, Kvitova rolled over Maria Sharapova in her first Grand Slam final.
The roller coaster wasn’t over, though, and that startling upswing on Centre Court was followed by an equally startling downer at the U.S. Open, where Kvitova was sent out in the first round. By the year-ender in Istanbul, though, she had found her game again. More crucially, she seemed to have found, for the first time, a way to win when she wasn’t playing her best. Kvitova went undefeated in five matches against the Top 8 players in the world, and reclaimed the future of women’s tennis.