LONDON — For 2 1⁄2 hours, Venus Williams traded big serves and hard groundstrokes with Petra Kvitova on Centre Court. Williams was playing with some of the power and pace that had brought her five Wimbledon titles. But when it was over, she was left with a sense of disappointment.
“The battle is always a little more enjoyable when you win,” Williams said Friday after coming within two points of victory but losing 5-7, 7-6 (2), 7-5 to Kvitova, the 2011 champion.
All four of their previous meetings went to three sets and this one was no different, with plenty of suspense, intensity, and only a few break points.
Williams looked stronger early in the match and was up 5-4, 15-30 on Kvitova’s serve, in the second set. But the Czech came up with some big serves, held and won the second set tiebreaker.
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