Modest Kvitova out to humble Serena

London: If humility was a sign of a true champion then unseeded Czech Petra Kvitova would be in with a real chance of upsetting the odds and beating Serena Williams in their semi-final showdown on Thursday.

The 20-year-old, who is ranked 62 in the world and had never won a match on grass before these championships, has left a scattering of seeds in her wake to set up her clash with the defending champion.

But can she go all the way and lift the famous Rosewater Dish to rapturous applause on Centre Court?

"No, I don`t think so," she said after saving five match points to beat Estonia`s Kaia Kanepi in her quarter-final.

"Maybe I can lose to Serena. I don`t know what I can say."

After the demise of her sister Venus at the hands of Tsvetana Pironkova in the previous round, Serena is overwhelming favourite to clinch her fourth singles title at the All England Club.

The mercury may have soared during Wimbledon`s opening nine days but Serena has barely broken sweat as she has brushed aside her opponents without dropping a set.

She out-grunted and out-muscled Maria Sharapova to avenge her 2004 final defeat and clinically dispatched China`s Li Na.

Serena won the opening set in her first three rounds without dropping a game and has pelted down 73 aces on her way to the semi-finals.

But, nonetheless, she has dismissed all talk of having one hand already on the trophy.

"It`s not mine to lose, it`s mine to win if I can get it, she said after beating Li. "There`s three other people that are vying to win it. They have just as good a chance as I do."

Kvitova, who lost her only previous match against Serena 6-2, 6-1 at the Australian Open in January, is one of three surprise packages to have made it through to the semi-finals.

She beat 14th seed Victoria Azarenka in the third round and also put paid to third seed Caroline Wozniacki`s hopes of a maiden grand slam title in the last 16.

"She`s a good player," Serena said of Thursday`s opponent.

"I saw her playing a couple rounds and I was like, `wow, she`s doing really well`.

"She was just hitting the ball so clean. Obviously, when she beat Wozniacki I wasn`t surprised, because I just saw how well she was doing and how well she was playing. She`s a really tough player, especially on grass."

The winner will face either 21st seed Vera Zvonareva or Venus`s conqueror Pironkova in Saturday`s final.

Bureau Report

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