Sydney: 1st Round Interview

Q. First match, just one set, but you seemed to be seeing the ball like a grapefruit. How happy were you with the first set you got?

PETRA KVITOVA: You know, I was sick in Brisbane, so I was lying days, maybe week in the bed with the fever. Wasn’t really nice. Then I started to practice here in pretty hot weather, which of course doesn’t really suit me and my body.

So I was pretty unhappy with everything what happened in the beginning of the year. But it was like getting better, and I think that I was pretty lucky with the weather which I played today. It was night, no wind, nothing really bothering me.

I’m sad that Mirjana couldn’t finish the match, but hopefully she will get better. Obviously I think I played probably what I could in the moment. I think that the serve was there sometimes. I think I moved pretty okay. So, yeah.


Q. So you’re just okay with it?

I was just okay with it. I mean, it was the first match of the season, so it’s always a bit tricky, as well, coming like after no matches. Even I played some in Czech Republic when we played some league, I played some matches over there, but it’s still very different to play in a tournament. I’m pretty happy with that.


Q. Because you came back in the middle of the year last year, does this feel like another comeback almost? Because it’s the beginning of the season and you get a full swing at a season?

Actually, I had like this thought yesterday when I was thinking, like, that I didn’t play for two months maybe some match, but it feels totally different comparing to French Open, have to say (smiling). What a surprise.

But it’s different feeling and different nerves, for sure. I mean, coming for the new season, everybody is pretty nervous, because nobody really knows how to play, like, how they gonna feel and play on the court in the matches like this.

I didn’t really feel like a comeback. I was just trying to take it as a preparation for Melbourne, because I couldn’t really practice from the time I came to Australia, so it was pretty small things which I did, but I’m happy how I played the first set.


Q. Obviously when you came back in July, everybody had already played half the year and maybe you were playing catchup to the others? But now everyone is starting from the same place?

That’s true.


Q. Better chance to establish yourself?

Yeah, I think it’s a little bit different, and everybody is starting in the same time. Not me, I didn’t play Brisbane in the end, but…


Q. Almost.

One week is okay. It’s better than six months (smiling).


Q. Just speaking of the offseason, so at the end of the year, you were tired, my understanding, and putting down the racquets and getting things fired up again in the preseason, was the preseason different at all for you this year or was it the same of what you had done a couple years ago?

Well, it was a little bit different, but in the end was same, right? It’s tennis. In the end of the day, I practiced some hours. Have fitness, as well.

You know, for me, the time after the season was pretty good, have to say, because like mentally I was really like empty after everything what happened last year. Like was one day when was like turning point when I was feeling, like, I’m done. I don’t want to touch the racquet anymore. You know, I was still waiting for the call from Zhuhai, and I was, like, oh, it would be not nice to take the racquet again (smiling).

So in the end, everything was good. Then when I started preparation was okay. I mean, I was probably mentally refreshed already, and I could start again. So was a month and something which I had like preparation, so it was a good one.


Q. Does everything feel more normal now?

Oh, definitely, yeah. I feel like finally a normal tennis player.

Yeah, I mean, in the end of the last season, I started to feel normal again. I think like all the beginning when I like came back beginning, it was pretty weird, I have to say, but, like, when I’m more on the tour back, it’s much better.


Q. Angie was just in here and I have spoken to other players, you’re outside top 20, and Angie and Aga are outside top 20, Serena when she comes back will be unranked.

It’s very interesting.


Q. It’s very interesting. Sharapova, Vika. What do you think is going to be in store for the 2018 WTA season when that’s what we’re looking at?

I have no idea. I mean, everybody has just up-and-downs, of course. Angie or Aga, I mean, we have been there for many years in the top, and just one year it’s just happened. For example, Angie, I mean, she had unbelievable year, and then of course it’s a little bit difficult with the pressure and everything.

It will be very interesting when everybody will come back and play, because Serena — Maria is looking sharp again, and it will be nice for fans, maybe for you, as well. I’m not sure if for us (smiling).

But, I mean, we always probably know that we can play with each other and it’s just about the few points who is a little bit stronger probably in the main points, as probably Lucie played Angie today, had to be great match about a few points. It’s just that close.

And I think like those, me, as well, who are outside of the top 20 will try to get back, of course, and will be interesting. The draw will be very interesting sometimes, as well.


Q. That was my next question. You know me so well, you know what I’m going to ask you. But that was my next question, which is obviously the Australian Open draw is in a couple days, and even here Angie is playing Venus tomorrow in a second-round match.

Who is playing Venus?


Q. Angie, after playing Safarova. These are the draws that are happening when the rankings are where they are at. So is that a good thing? I don’t know. Are you ready to fight through draws like that from the very beginning?

Well, we can’t really choose, but I think it’s not good. That’s what I think. I think like of course that we are ready to fight from the first rounds, but like those matches, of course it’s the same for everyone who is playing, but I just feel that sometimes those players who, you know, really achieve something and playing well and are champions and whatever, they should meet little bit later on in the tournament.


Q. Like Sharapova/Halep played US Open.

Yeah, exactly. It was a great match but it was first round. Of course the people are enjoying it. Doesn’t matter how deep it is in tournament. But I just feel like for the players, it’s just better to meet them like a little bit later.


Q. It seems like it will make things very unpredictable for the next few months, yeah?

Yeah, I think so. The draws can be very interesting. Four are out of top 20? Four? How many? Doesn’t matter.

It’s going to be like very interesting. I mean, we are still seeded for Melbourne, luckily. But, yeah, and then, like, I think like the seeded and unseeded, it’s big gap between, so when we are seeded it’s still good. Still better, let’s say.


Q. Then next year they are talking about seeds going from 32 to 16 at the slams.

As seeded?


Q. Only going to be 16 seeds starting 2019.

Okay. Thank you for news.


Q. You’re welcome. If that was this year you’d be unseeded going into the Australian Open.



Q. Do you like that change or do you not like that change?

No. I don’t like the change. Doesn’t matter if I’m like out of 16, but I feel like those rules, which we have like for so many years, shouldn’t be really change, and I think when you have 128 players should be still 32 seeded. That’s my thought.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports