Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic (L) holds the winners trophy as she stands next to Maria Sharapova of Russia holding the runners-up trophy, after defeating her in their final match. Reuters

Czech tennis player Petra Kvitova, a powerful 21-year-old left-hander, defeated Maria Sharapova in straight sets Saturday to win the ladies' championship at Wimbledon.

Kvitova became the first Czech woman to win Wimbledon since Jana Novotna in 1998 and first left- handed woman to capture the crown since another Czech, Martina Navratilova won her record ninth title in 1990.

The best lefty of all time Martina Navratilova sat in the Royal Box along with Novotna and both would have been mighty impressed by the composure and fearless hitting of Kvitova.

It is the first Grand Slam title for Kvitova and fourth tournament win of the year. The No. 8 seed produced a stunning display of power-hitting to defeat 2004 champion Maria Sharapova. She won 6-3, 6-4 on the famed grass Centre court.

On the way to the final, Kvitová defeated Alexa Glatch, Anne Keothavong, 29th seed Roberta Vinci, 19th seed Yanina Wickmayer, 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova, and 4th seed Victoria Azarenka.

After Saturday’s victory Kvitova struggled to put her achievement into words.

“I knew that I have to be the first who is playing hard and who is making the points. So I tried it. It was unbelievable feeling, for sure. So I was so happy. I don't know. It's strange, she said, Reuters reported.

It's a big step considering that my results here in the last few years haven't been that good. It's a big step because my game is improving, and it's a big step because it gives me a tremendous amount of confidence going forward,” said Sharapova, whose last grand slam final appearance was the 2008 Australian Open.

Kvitova had burst on to the scene 12 months ago with a surprise run to the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Kvitová started 2011 by winning her second career title at the 2011 Brisbane International by defeating Andrea Petkovic in the final and also earning wins over 3rd seed Nadia Petrova and 5th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. With 36 matches won against eight losses, she had rocketed up the rankings in 2011 after being placed in thirty-fourth position at the end of 2010.