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Kvitova keen for match practice

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Originally published on 14/06/16 00:00

The world No.11, who lifted the trophy at SW19 in 2011 and 2014, was speaking after beating compatriot Lucie Safarova 6-3 6-2 in the first round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. The match was her first since losing to American Shelby Rogers in the third round at the French Open. Kvitova also expressed a desire for a longer grass court swing, having also committed to play at Eastbourne next week.

“I always get excited to be the grass again, I would say it’s my favourite time of the year," Kvitova said. "I wish the grass court season could be a little longer but that’s just how it is. I love being on the courts, especially at Wimbledon where I have so many memories. I just feel great on the grass. It suits my style really well because it plays so fast.”

Not usually known for playing at the Edgbaston Priory Club, the Czech explained her decision to add an extra week to her schedule – her first appearance in Birmingham since 2008.

“Because I lost in Paris in the first week of the Grand Slam," she explained. "And I think the beginning of season wasn't really perfect for me and I missed a lot of matches. You never really know what will happen the week before Wimbledon, sometimes you can end up playing only one match. That's why I asked to play here and have more matches on the grass.

“I just want to play as much as possible before Wimbledon because on grass matches are definitely better than practice so the more I can get the better. If I were to lose early here this week and next week in Eastbourne I wouldn’t be very happy.”

The match between the Czech two left-handers was one of only two to be completed before bad weather caused another lengthy rain delay at the Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham. Qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova was able to beat Lesia Tsurenko before the skies darkened and the heavens opened once more on Tuesday afternoon.

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