Petra captured her 19th career singles title today in Zhuhai, China, winning the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy. Petra finished the week in style, beating Elina Svitolina in the finals, 6-4 6-2, and capping off a successful end to the 2016 season. Petra did not drop a set all week enroute to the title and ends her year on tour with a playing record of 17-3 since the US Open in September.
Winning the title in Zhuhai continues Petra’s love affair with China, where she has now won three tournaments and reached six finals.
Petra’s final competition in 2016 will be next weekend as she leads the Czech Republic at the Fed Cup Final in Strasbourg, France. The world No.1 ranked team will compete against France and aim to bring home the Fed Cup title for the Czech Republic for the fifth time in the past six years.
Here is the transcript of Petra’s champion press conference…
Q. Good win for you today. What were you thinking down 4-1? How do you feel like you were able to turn it around so quickly?
I was like, Yeah, I’m going home, but I don’t want to go as loser. No, I mean, I was down, but I didn’t really feel that I’m playing that bad. I just felt that game was pretty close. I had some easy mistakes.
So I knew that it’s still in my hand. I just felt that she played a little bit aggressively than me in the beginning of the match. So I was a little bit trying to get the rhythm to play a little bit more aggressive, maybe a little bit longer rallies, that I can go to the game and be able to play.
That I think I did. I started to serve a little bit better as well, even I had more double faults that I wish. But I still think that I find a way to kind of beat her. I played her in Wuhan and I was break down there as well from the beginning of the match.
I just probably knew that it’s still not the end, so I was just trying to play point by point. That was kind of the style of the match.
Q. You have difficult first half of the this year. You manage to get better and better. At which point you just kind of feel that everything is back on track?
I’m thinking. You see it probably. No, I mean, I started to play better I think in Montréal, after Wimbledon when I didn’t have the best result there. I lost in the second round. It was very disappointing for me. I was really trying to get over it, to kind of not really get down from that loss.
Then I started preparation and I came to Montréal and I did feel a little bit better, but it was still not there. I think the important kind of time came in Rio when I started to feel confidenter more than before.
I think it was kind of extra motivation play by the country. That I think gave me a little bit more confidence, more motivation, more energy, everything put into the game.
I think that was kind of the point when I started to play better. I played good in New Haven and US Open, and then I came to Asia and I really enjoy myself on the court as well.
I miss that feeling for a couple of months in the beginning of the season, so I’m very happy that I found myself again on the court. I do have this beautiful trophy, second trophy. First one, Wuhan. I’m really happy to have it for sure.
Even I drop from the top 10, I’m still very positive from the season.
Q. You said your congratulations to Andy Murray on your Twitter from world No. 2 to No. 1. It cost him seven years. You were a world No. 2 players yourself five years ago. Is achieving world No. 1 still a big goal for you or you’re pretty relaxed about it?
I’m pretty relaxed right now, but, yes, I think I the No. 1 spot is still missing in my career, have to say.
I think that without that goal I probably don’t play tennis anymore. I still have a motivation to play better, to improve myself on the court, off the court, to win some tournaments, Grand Slams, and of course with that I’m going to try to be the highest I ever been.
I know how difficult it. We just saw how Angie did it. It’s a great thing to have for sure. Yeah, I said him congratulations because I think it’s a great achievement. I think he did everything what is possible to be there, so I’m really happy for him.
THE MODERATOR: We have a superfan question.
Q. Many congratulations.
Q. Just one simple question? Will you have any special celebration tonight?
I wish, but we are flying home tonight actually because I’m playing Fed Cup next week. But I think in the airport when we will have a time to wait for our plane I think it will be maybe a glass of champagne or wine or something.
I think that I will not really sleep easily in the plane, so who knows what happens in the plane. I don’t really — I’m not really person who’s planning the celebration. We will see.
I think we need a glass of something.
Q. We know when you play a tournament you don’t spend much time on the practice court. How hard are you going to practice in the off-season?
(Smiling.) Are you surprised that I’m not really practicing? I’m getting the questions very often.
I think that in the end I didn’t really have to spend like hours on the court to practice when I’m tournament. I think that when I’m playing the matches, that’s the best practice what I can have. I just had probably one day off between the matches and I hit actually.
So, yeah, for the off-season I’m planning to practice, yes. I do. I’m starting with the fitness preparation for ten days or two weeks, and then I going to start with the tennis preparation.
I’m starting playing in Hopman Cup, which is a great week for preparation as well. We have a little bit longer season because of the Fed Cup.
So this extra week in Hopman Cup will you very helpful to get ready for the first Grand Slam of the year.
Q. Talking about the Fed Cup, so are you confident to win the championship of Fed Cup for your own country? Now Czech has many strong players. You and Pliskova and also some male tennis players. So do you think that it is now a golden era for Czech tennis development?
I think the tennis in Czech Republic has a huge history. When Navratilova played, all of them, we always kind of been strong for tennis. I think we have a great time right now to be in the really good form in the women’s side.
We still have Berdych on the men’s side, but the women’s side a little bit stronger right now, and that’s why we playing final again probably.
Of course we should be confident to get the title for us again. I think we have a great team, and we going to do everything what we can. We always love to playing. It will be great week for sure, and the weekend will be more special.
Will be last two matches of the season, so everybody will just put everything what they have in the body and the mind and we will see. Hopefully the luck will be on our side.
Q. (Through translation.) Can you please comment on the event and the facility here and are you happy with them?
Yes, I am very happy. (Laughter.) I came here and was really surprised how everything is looking, so it was really impressed to me. The city and everything around here is just really nice and I really enjoyed everything.
I think that the people did a great job. We all have to just say thanks to them. Of course it’s something more with the emotions to have this trophy, but I think everything was just perfect. I’m really glad I was able to came and play.