Melissa Isaacson: Bouchard had some major breaks in the draw as well, avoiding both Serena Williams and Sharapova in her quarter, though she defeated the two players -- Alize Cornet and Angelique Kerber -- who vanquished the top seed and French Open champion, respectively. I agree that Bouchard's rare combination of counter-punching ability and aggressiveness should make this a compelling afternoon. The fear, of course, is that the young first-time finalist will shrink like Sabine Lisicki did last year, but we know by now that Bouchard is not the type. And I think she got the butterflies out of her system in the semis, when she did not play her best match. But no one can prepare a player for their first Wimbledon finals and Kvitova looked very composed in her news conference Saturday, saying she learned from the experience in 2011. Obviously, she figured it out.
Wilansky: She has figured out, but it should be noted Kvitova's path to the final has been blessed with a fairly easy draw. She hasn't played anyone ranked lower than No. 23, while Bouchard has taken out two top-10 seeds in Angelique Kerber and No. 3 Simona Halep. But both finalists have averaged just under 90 minutes on court per match and Bouchard has played only five more games than Kvitova, so neither will have an advantage in the fatigue department. But there's another factor to consider here. The weather forecast calls for some rain, which means the roof could come into play. And if it's closed, advantage Kvitova -- big time. The Czech, who has bigger, loopier swings than her opponent, loves indoor tennis, with three career titles and a 41-9 record.
Bialik: I hope whatever happens tomorrow, both players stay consistent for a while. Kvitova looked like she'd be a threat at every major and become No. 1 when she won here in 2011; this is her first Grand Slam final since then. Agnieszka Radwanska broke through to reach the final here the next year, took a set off Serena Williams -- and also hasn't been back in a major final. Last year's finalists were Lisicki, who transforms into an ordinary player away from Wimbledon, and Marion Bartoli, who retired soon after winning. Both Bouchard and Kvitova have the potential to contend at every big tournament. Rod Laver said at a news conference here the other day, "I don't understand letdowns. You just played beautifully to win the tournament where you just came from, then you say you're having a letdown. I never understood that side of it." I hope Bouchard and Kvitova follow the Rocket's credo.
Isaacson: The game is littered with one-time Grand Slam wonders (hello, Anastasia Myskina and Gaston Gaudio, the 2004 French Open winners), but you're right, Carl, Kvitova is too good for that. Though her size and power are certainly suited to grass, she has made noise (quarterfinals or better) at every Grand Slam tournament but the US Open (where she has only gone as far as the fourth round). Saturday's final has all the elements of a classic. Bouchard is also a big girl, capable of both absorbing and delivering a blow. I just hope both players perform to their potential, because I don't think I can take another final like last year's.