‘I can play well on clay,’ Petra Kvitova full of confidence ahead of French Open
Petra Kvitova knows her game is best suited to playing on quicker courts, but the two-time Wimbledon champion believes she can also succeed at the French Open, especially if she has time to grow accustomed to playing on the surface.
The Czech star has won clay-court tournaments in the past and twice made the semi-finals at Roland Garros. Last year she won her first five matches in straight sets in Paris before falling to Sofia Kenin at the penultimate hurdle.
“I need some time to be able to play on clay, though the French Open was the only clay tournament I played last year and I think I played really well there,” Kvitova said.
“I just have to flick a switch mentality to recognise that the clay season is here and that I can play well on it.”
Kvitova has won matches at all four clay-court tournaments she has played so far this year. She won one match in Charleston before losing to Danka Kovinic and made the quarter-finals in both Stuttgart and Madrid, eventually going down in three sets to Elina Svitolina and Ashleigh Barty respectively.
The Czech star also won her opener in Rome against Magda Linette, though fell to Vera Zvonareva in the last 32.
Since the start of 2019 Kvitova has won 20 of the 28 matches she has played on clay. The 31-year-old Czech is pleased to be reminded of her recent record on the surface.
“To know these numbers is actually really good for me mentally, knowing that I can play well on the clay,” she said.
“Of course I remember my semi-finals from last year at the French Open, but overall it’s really a great achievement, even though I’m not really a clay-court player. In the last couple of years I think I’ve been really trying to find a rhythm and to find my movement on clay. I’ve been working on it with my team and with my coach.”
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