The most important person in Petra’s career is her father, Jiří, who introduced her to tennis and honed her talent at a young age
Agent/Manager: Marijn Bal
Marijn Bal has been Petra’s manager at IMG since August 2014 and represents Petra globally. A former collegiate tennis player, Marijn is originally from The Netherlands, and currently works out of the IMG office in Bradenton, Florida, where he has been based since 2008 and takes care of Petra’s day-to-day business related matters.
Fitness trainer: David Vydra
Petra has been working with David, who is from Prague, since June 2015. Before working with Petra, David spent 7 years working with Tomas Berdych and several months working with Lukas Rosol.
21 December, 2016 | 13:00 CET
UPDATE: Petra could be back on a tennis court in six months, her surgeon said on Wednesday.
“Surgeon Radek Kebrle said that the operation on Petra’s left hand went very well, with no complications,” Kvitova’s publicist said in a statement.
“Petra will be on bed rest for 14 days, she will begin slow rehabilitation at around 6-8 weeks post operation. If that rehabilitation process goes well, Petra should be able to grip a racket for the first time (but not play tennis) at three months. The best-case scenario is that Petra will be able to return to the tennis court after six months.
“It is too soon to specify when precisely she can return to competition, but Petra is ready to do everything she can to get back competing at the highest level. Petra is happy with how the operation went and is in good spirits.”
20 December, 2016 | 21:00 CET
UPDATE: Petra is out of surgery, and her left hand will be in a cast for at least three months:
Petra has undergone surgery for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Considering the extent of the damage, the surgery went very well. Doctors repaired damage to tendons in all five digits of the left hand as well as two nerves. Petra will wear a cast on her hand for 6-8 weeks and will be unable to bear weight for 3 months. We hope to have more information for you tomorrow.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra has been forced to pull out of the Hopman Cup as she continues to recover from a foot injury.
DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – Petra Kvitova will make her Charleston, South Carolina tennis debut at the 2017 Volvo Car Open, April 1st – 9th on Daniel Island. Kvitova is a two-time Wimbledon champion and currently ranked World No. 11. She ended the 2016 season in impressive fashion, picking up titles at Wuhan and Zhuhai, as well as helping the Czech Republic to a historic fifth Fed Cup trophy in six years.
In addition to Kvitova, the player field forming for the 45th year of the WTA premier tournament includes:
- Former World No. 1’s Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki
- World No. 8 Madison Keys
- World No. 10 Johanna Konta
- 2016 Volvo Car Open Champion Sloane Stephens
- Olympic Gold Medalists Monica Puig and Elena Vesnina
“We have been pursuing Petra to enter Charleston for more than four years,” said Eleanor Adams, Tournament Manager. “To say we are excited is an understatement! Petra’s left-handed game and serve are perfectly suited for our courts. The fans will be amazed by her talent, fierceness and gracious personality – we can hardly wait!”
This season celebrates Kvitova’s sixth straight top 15 finish. In addition to her two titles in 2016, she captured a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics, was a finalist in Luxembourg, made the semifinals in New Haven and Stuttgart and made the quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Beijing.
“I’m very excited to play in the Volvo Car Open for the first time,” said Kvitova. “I’ve heard what a wonderful city Charleston is and the Volvo Car Open is a great tournament, so of course I’m looking forward to April”.
The nine-day Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America, attracting an average of 90,000 attendees and 70+ of the top tennis players.
Tickets for the 2017 Volvo Car Open are now on sale. Patrons have the option to choose from individual tickets, ticket packages and travel packages. Ticket prices range from $25 for an individual session to $525 for the all-inclusive weeklong package. The Volvo Car Open will provide six special ticket packages in 2017, each offering more tennis at a greater value.
New in 2017, the tournament will roll out the Ace Club, an exciting membership program for box and ticket package holders. The Ace Club is a recognition program providing unparalleled amenities and benefits during the tournament. In addition, members have the option to receive access into the Ace Lounge, an exclusive hospitality tent providing first-class accommodations including, live entertainment, air-conditioning, elevated food options and more.
For more information on the tournament and ticket options, visit volvocaropen.com or call 800.677.2293.
About the Volvo Car Open:
The Volvo Car Open is North America’s largest women’s only tennis tournament. The event, formerly known as the Family Circle Cup, moved to Charleston, S.C., in 2001 from Hilton Head Island, S.C., and will celebrate its 45th tournament in 2017. The Volvo Car Open welcomes more than 90,000 spectators each year. The tournament features a singles draw of 56 players, a qualifying draw of 32 players and a doubles draw of 16 players. The tournament is owned and operated by Charleston Tennis, LLC, a subsidiary of Meredith Corporation, publisher of Family Circle. For more information on the Volvo Car Open, visit http://www.VolvoCarOpen.com, call (800) 677-2293, email email@example.com, Facebook (Volvo Car Open), Twitter (@VolvoCarOpen) or Instagram (VolvoCarOpen).
Petra has announced a new coach for the 2017 season, former ATP player Jiri Vanek.
Vanek is the former coach of Karolina Pliskova, who will now be coached by David Kotyza.
Petra was delighted to confirm the news:
“I’m happy to announce that Jiri Vanek will be my coach next year. I’m really looking forward to starting our preparation for 2017 together soon and welcome him to Team Petra.”
Universally loved by her peers, it was no surprise that Petra Kvitova walked away with the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for the fourth straight year.
It all came together for Petra Kvitova at the end of a long and grueling season.
Struggling with consistency and splitting with longtime coach David Kotyza, Kvitova caught fire after winning an emotional Bronze medal at the Olympic tennis event, roaring to her first title of 2016 at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open and finishing the season on a high with the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai crown. She was later part of the Fed Cup team that took home its fifth victory in the last six years, in a nail-biter against France.
Kvitova took home one last honor before 2017 in the form of the the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, her fourth in a row.
The Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the player who conducts herself in a manner fitting of a professional sports figure and observes the rules of fair play, shows respect for others and is gracious on and off the court. This award has been voted on by players since 1978 and has recognized athletes including Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley.
As she has done in Fed Cup, Kvitova has also earned this honor five of the last six years.
I 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’
I 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.
I 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
I was very nervous in 2012 and didn’t feel comfortable because I’d only played one match on the grass in Eastbourne, but I coped OK and managed to play quite well before losing to Serena Williams in the quarter-finals. There will be a lot of nerves again this time but I hope that experience helps me. Every year is different. This time I haven’t played any matches on grass because I got sick in Eastbourne, but I actually think that’s better than having lost in the first round there. At least I don’t feel negative about my game, and hopefully I will be 100% by the time I step on Centre Court at 1pm to play Kiki Bertens [ranked 108] of the Netherlands.
Finding my feet on grass – a triumphant debut
I couldn’t feel any more uncomfortable than I did when I first stepped on a grass court in 2007, and yet I still went on to win the tournament. It was a junior event in Roehampton when I was 17 and the whole experience was really strange. I didn’t know what I should do but my game worked well on the grass, and I won six matches in a row.
Things didn’t go quite so well on my Wimbledon debut a couple of weeks later when I lost in the round of 16 in the girls’ singles, and in my first senior matches in 2008 and 2009 I didn’t play well. I was a little bit uncertain on the grass. It’s the feeling that it’s not solid underfoot, a bit softer and the footwork is a bit difficult. I also didn’t have the strong legs I have now; it’s a bit about how you work out. I didn’t play the game I should at that time but I was young and didn’t have experience. I finally found a way in 2011.
‘The replica is smaller than the real trophy’
By the time you get back to the locker room after winning Wimbledon, they have taken the trophy away, and you only get another glimpse of it at the champions’ dinner on the Sunday. You have to make do with a replica, which is about three-quarters the size of the real thing. I’m lucky enough to have two of them! My parents look after them, and all my trophies. I think it’s pretty special for them. Winning Wimbledon in 2011 was a bit of a surprise for everyone, including me. It was like I was in a dream and I didn’t realise what it meant. Last year I was a lot more experienced but it’s never easy. To win a Grand Slam you have to win seven matches in a row and it’s very different physically and mentally from other tournaments. Last year was especially difficult because I played three Czech girls in a row, and they are all good friends. That’s not easy but, for sure, I had improved not only as a tennis player but as a person and I was glad for the experience I had in 2011.
‘A home away from home’ in the village
I love the traditions and the history of Wimbledon, but unfortunately I don’t get to indulge in too many strawberries and cream – last year I had one strawberry! When you enter the gates of the All England Club you can feel the history of tennis. It’s the oldest and the best tournament in the world, and the one everybody wants to win. We rent a house every year and stay in Wimbledon village, which is amazing. You can walk into the club if you want and it feels like being at home, in your own house, where you can cook, put music on and just relax. I’m staying somewhere new this year but I won 2011 and 2014 in different houses, so I’m considering that good luck.
‘To join the legends would be incredible’
Of course I want to play well and do my best but I don’t compare myself with the legends of the game, I have a long way to go. To join the likes of Chris Evert and Maria Bueno on three Wimbledon titles would be incredible but I know how tough it is. I’ll do my best, we’ll see. I’m certainly very proud to carry on the great tradition of Czech players. Probably Martina Navratilova is the biggest legend but I know many other Czechs played so well at Wimbledon, like Jan Kodes [who won the men’s singles title in 1973]. I have a good friendship with Martina and it’s nice to catch up with her and talk sometimes. The Czechs have a great history but we are glad to have so many players with a high ranking right now – I think nine women in the top 100, [second only to the United States, with 12]. It’s great for the kids to see on TV, who then maybe pick up a racquet. I don’t really think about my place within that history right now but maybe when I finish it will be a bit different.
Petra Kvitova was talking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery