Sydney: Petra falls in 2nd round
Sydney: Petra faces C.Giorgi

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US Open: Petra rolls into round 3 US Open, 1st Rd: Petra beats Jankovic Petra beaten in New Haven opener Cincinnati, R32: Petra beaten by Stephens Rogers Cup, R32: Petra falls to Stephens Rogers Cup, R64: Petra passes Suárez Navarro test Stanford: Bellis downs Petra

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Sydney: Petra falls in 2nd round


In a bruising encounter between two of the WTA’s hardest hitters, Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi ousted 2015 Sydney International champion Petra Kvitova, 7-6(7), 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2018 edition of the tournament.

Reported by wtatennis.com

The opening stanzas of the match went easily with serve, as both players were handling their delivery exceptionally well, and barely losing points when they stepped to the line. Only seven points were won by the returner in the first seven games.

Kvitova was the first to wobble serving down 3-4, as Giorgi started to hit absurdly strong and effective returns, and focused on breaking down the Czech’s backhand as best as she could. Nevertheless, Kvitova was able to survive four break points to hold for 4-4.

The Czech former World No.2 faced an even more precarious service game in her next go, as Giorgi continued to take extreme risks on her return of serve. One such return clipped the net and barely dribbled over to give Giorgi her first set point. After it was saved, Kvitova hit her first two double faults of the match to give Giorgi two more set points, but those were fended off as well. Kvitova finally held for 5-5 after an eight-minute game.

After failing to convert any of her seven break points, Giorgi cracked at 5-5. An overrule on the baseline by chair umpire Aurelie Tourte rattled Giorgi, and she lost two straight points after that to give Kvitova a 6-5 lead on the Czech’s first break opportunity of the match.

Suddenly, Kvitova was serving for the set. But she could not close out the opener, hitting her third double fault in two games, and then being unable to successfully respond to a powerful Giorgi backhand when down break point.

The players moved into the tiebreak, and Giorgi took an early 3-1 lead. Two unreturnable serves by Kvitova, however, put her in front at 4-3. After repelling three set points earlier in the set, Kvitova finally reached her own set point at 6-5. Giorgi was unfazed, and hit a fine serve that Kvitova could not return into play, which deadlocked the tiebreak at 6-6.

A forehand winner by Kvitova saved a fourth Giorgi set point to level the breaker at 7-7, but Giorgi claimed the crucial mini-break on the next point by dragging Kvitova wide and tempting the Czech into a forehand error. One final error long by the usually fearsome Kvitova forehand gave Giorgi the first set on the Italian’s fifth set point, after a grueling 70 minutes.

The second set, by comparison, was anticlimactic, as the wind went out of Kvitova’s sails. Giorgi started to step way into the court on second service returns, and Kvitova’s forehand faltered much more often than it does during her purple patches of form.

Kvitova threw in a fatigued double fault down break point at 1-1 to give Giorgi the first lead of the second set. Then, serving at 4-2, Kvitova was broken at love after she hit multiple forehands wide with no provocation.

Giorgi neared the finish line, and serving at 5-2, 30-30, the Italian hit an ace to bring up her first match point. Here, Kvitova put up her sternest resistance of the set, saving four match points, but the Czech could never reach break point in an attempt to extend the match any further.

A lovely backhand winner by Giorgi brought up a fifth match point, and one more wide unforced error from the Kvitova forehand gave the qualifier another straight-set win in a long line of them this week.

Photos

about-me

BIO

Petra was born to Jiří Kvita and Pavla Kvitová in Bilovec, a small town in the east of the Czech Republic. Her family spent a lot of time playing tennis at the local club and Petra started on her tennis journey by picking up balls for her brothers, Libor and Jiří, at 3 years old.

Petra’s father, a self-taught tennis player, became her coach growing up and used to show Petra videos of Martina Navratilova playing at Wimbledon, which she would watch with fascination.

I have so much respect for Martina, I watched her on television when I was a child, and that’s where I learnt about Wimbledon and playing on grass. It is nice to know that I have her support and it was special to see her on Centre Court when I won the title.

Growing up in Fulnek where there was only a short window for outdoor sports because of harsh winter weather, Petra spent a lot of time training on fast indoor surfaces, where she learned to play fast and hit flat. This had a huge impact on how Petra honed her game and developed the all-out attacking style for which she is now renowned.

It was not until Petra won the junior tournament of Pardubice, a prestigious event in the Czech Republic, that her family decided it was time for her to start pursuing a professional career. In 2006, Petra moved to the famous Prostejov Tennis Club, away from home and family. It was not an easy transition for a 16-year-old girl, but Petra adapted quickly and started to show rapid progress.

In 2007, Petra won four ITF singles titles and rose from No.773 to No.157 in the world. In 2008, Petra achieved direct entry into her first ever Grand Slam event at Roland Garros. She reached the last 16 and finished the year ranked No.44 in the world. This was also the year she joined forces with her coach, David Kotyza.

2011 was a spectacular breakthrough year for Petra. She started off by cracking the top 10 in the world after winning her first clay-court tournament in Madrid. Two months later, she lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish at Wimbledon, marching through the draw and stunning Maria Sharapova in the final. Her life was to change forever…

“The Wimbledon final is a very happy memory for me. I was so focused on match point that when I won it felt like a dream. It was strange, I had a dream about winning Wimbledon during the French Open that year, and then a couple of weeks later it came true. I couldn’t believe it. It was definitely one of the happiest moments
of my life.”

Petra became the first player born in 1990s, male or female, to win a Grand Slam title. She finished the 2011 season winning the prestigious season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul and climbed to No.2 in the world. To cap off a dream year, which included 6 titles in total, she proudly led the Czech team to Fed Cup victory for the first time since 1988.

Petra had a solid 2012 season despite injury and illness, resulting in two Grand Slam semifinals at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, and she reached the quarterfinal at Wimbledon as defending champion, losing out to eventual champion Serena Williams. She was also crowned the Emirates US Open Series champion, with two titles at Montreal and New Haven. She led her country to a second successive Fed Cup triumph in the same year that the Czech Republic also pulled off victory in the Davis Cup.

 

2012 was a wonderful year for Czech tennis. Winning the Fed Cup and Davis Cup at home was unbelievable. The support we received from the home crowd was amazing and it was special to see what tennis means to our country. I hope we can keep growing tennis as a sport to compete with football and ice hockey and I hope we can inspire children to want to play tennis.

SPOT PETRA
Sydney, AUSTRALIA

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About last night... Thanks to @CrownResorts and @IMGTennis for hosting another great party. Always feel lucky to stay here 🙏 #homeawayfromhome @ALO_Diamonds pic.twitter.com/HfvEpX4kiu

About 2 days ago

Fighting jet lag and finding motivation at WTA Finals


blo4I arrived in Singapore on Tuesday night and I’m hoping the jet lag will be gone by Monday when I step on court for my first match at this year’s WTA Finals.

I’ve spent the last two months chasing the points I needed to qualify as one of the top eight players in the world, travelling from New York to Europe to China and now Singapore, and it feels great to have finally made it.

I’m not feeling too bad and I certainly hope to do better than last year, when I lost two of my three round-robin matches. Reaching the Finals is one of my goals every year and I know what it feels like to end the season on a high after winning on my debut in 2011.

There is not much time to rest when you arrive at the season finale, with all sorts of commitments off court as well as the need to practise, but fortunately I’m the sort of person who likes like to keep busy. Let’s just hope that the jet lag wears off after three or four days!

‘Playing without motivation is tough’

I’m especially happy to be here playing the WTA Finals after taking the most time off during a season that I think I ever have.

I took a month out earlier in the year, something I never really did before, so it was kind of a new experience but showed me that I can still come back, play well and stay in the top five. That’s great.

Winning three Premier titles along the way was amazing, as well as beating Serena Williams in Madrid, although of course I wanted to have some better results in the Grand Slams.

But I think you can always take something good from the bad things, so that’s what I’m trying to do, and I still have my motivation. I’m really happy to be here competing as one of the top eight.

This already feels like it has been a special season, but with the Fed Cup final against Russia to follow Singapore it could be a really great end to the year.

It won’t quite match up to Serena’s season, even though she won’t be playing in Singapore. I think she was very disappointed when she lost at the US Open, just two wins from completing the calendar Grand Slam, and it was then tough to find the motivation to play the end of the season.

Playing just because she has to is not really her way of playing. Playing without motivation is tough even for her, but I think what she did this year is great.

‘I’m not a fan of airplane food’

blo2I have been on some very long flights over the last two months, heading back from the US Open to Europe, then returning from China for a break in the Czech Republic before coming here to Singapore.

It can be tricky to cope with this kind of schedule, which means many, many hours in the air, but I’m lucky that I have no problem sleeping on a plane!

When you fly as much as I do, you get into a pretty familiar routine. I don’t do any exercises when flying but use compression socks, and spend as much time as possible lying down. I try not to eat much – I’m not a fan of airplane food, everything is just so weird.

I always take my book, my MP3, my phone and my computer. I like to watch movies – I just saw the documentary about Amy Winehouse, which was very good and emotional.

The other thing I always try to travel with by my side is my racquet bag. It’s kind of big and sometimes I have a bit of trouble with that, but usually I can persuade them to let it on!

‘I hit once a day and really give everything’

Unfortunately I lost early in Beijing and then couldn’t go to Moscow as planned, but it did give me a few extra days off to rest and recover, and then I had a really good practice in the Czech Republic.

blo3I think maybe Aga Radwanska, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep arrived in Singapore before me. With only eight singles players at the tournament sometimes it can be more difficult to arrange practice but we are lucky with the players here this year and before the draw is made it’s a little bit easier.

We have the coaches to hit with as well but before the matches I think it’s just time to play some points and get the final touches from the coaches.

There is always a lot of work going on behind the scenes at a tournament and that’s even more true at the WTA Finals, where we have many activities during the day and you really have to set everything up.

It is for sure a big part of the coach’s job to make sure the tennis does not get neglected. I don’t think you can do much great practice here so we are trying to hit once a day and really give everything to the session, then we have the other commitments.

I’m happy how we’ve arranged everything and even though it’s still been a really long season for me, I feel OK now and ready for a challenging few weeks.

 

Petra Kvitova was talking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery

Older Posts

WTA

Winner (18):

  • 2017 – Birmingham;
  • 2016 – Wuhan, Zhuhai;
  • 2015 – Sydney, Madrid, New Haven;
  • 2014 – New Haven, Wuhan;
  • 2013 – Dubai, Tokyo;
  • 2012 – Montréal, New Haven;
  • 2011 – Brisbane, Paris [Indoors], Madrid, Linz, WTA Championships;
  • 2009 – Hobart.

Finalist (6):

  • 2016 – Luxembourg
  • 2015 – WTA FINALS
  • 2014 – Beijing;
  • 2013 – Katowice, New Haven;
  • 2011 – Eastbourne;
  • 2009 – Linz.

Grand Slam

  • 2011, 2014 – Wimbledon Champion
  • 2012 – Australian Open semi-finalist
  • 2012 – Roland Garros semi-finalist
  • 2015 – US Open quarter-finalist

ITF

  • 2008 – $75,000 Monzon (H)
  • 2007 – $10,000 Stuttgart (IH); $25,000 Prague-Pruhonice (IC); $25,000 Prerov (IH); $25,000 Valasske Mezirici (IH)
  • 2006 – $10,000 Szeged (CL); $25,000 Valasske Mezirici (IH)

Awards

2011:

  • WTA Player of the Year
  • WTA Most Improved Player
  • Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award
  • Fan Favorite Breakthrough Player
  • ITF World Champion
  • Czech Athlete of the Year

2010:

  • WTA Newcomer of the Year

Additional

  • 2007 – 2016 Czech Fed Cup Team;
  • 2014 and 2015 Fed Cup Winner;
  • 2012 Czech Olympic Team
29

Current WTA ranking

2

Highest WTA ranking

WTA stats

YTD

Career

WTA single titles

1

20

Prize money

-

$24,040,818

W/L Singles

0 - 0

443 - 200

W/L Doubles

0 - 0

13 - 35

2016 Wuhan Open
2015 Connecticut Open