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Kvitova targets deep run at Flushing Meadows

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Originally published on 29/08/14

Kvitova may be focusing on one round at a time at the US Open, but she now stands five matches away from a third Grand Slam title, and a second of 2014, after defeating fellow Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-4 6-2.

The Wimbledon champion has never been beyond the fourth round of the US Open, but she made light work of the world No.63, if after a slightly nervous start. Kvitova made 20 unforced errors in the first set, and just nine in the second.

“You know, playing Czech girls is never easy. I was nervous before the match," said Kvitova, who beat three Czech opponents during her run to the Wimbledon title this summer.

Delighted to have secured the first set in 49 minutes, the left-hander let out a scream, and then conceded only two games in the second set to wrap up victory in just under an hour and a half. The on court temperature was lower than it had been earlier in the week but conditions were tricky.

“It was windy," the No.3 seed said of the match on Grandstand. "Our court started with shade and it slowly covered all the court. Sometimes I couldn't really see the serve. You know, sometimes when it's going from the sun to shade, it's not really visible”.

Kvitova is keen to improve her results here. “It's a big motivation to go a little bit deeper in the tournament than I did a few years ago,” she said. Her passage may have been helped a bit by the fact that in the third round her opponent is the Serbian qualifier Alexsandra Krunic, who defeated home favourite and No. 27 seed Madison Keys 7-6 (4) 2-6 7-5.

However, Krunic's victory came as no surprise to Kvitova. “You know, I'm not really surprised," she said. "I think for Keys it was difficult, being the favourite of this match, playing at home”.

She has played Krunic before, although their last meeting was in Prague in 2011 when the 6’ left-hander won in straight sets. “I know that she can push a lot of balls back. She's a very good mover," she explained. “I need to play, again, my game. I really can't change it."

As she showed during the recent Wimbledon final, when she finds her rhythm, her play is breathtaking. Kvitova may or may not be aware, looking further ahead, that the world No.1 ranking could be hers (or Simona Halep’s) if Serena Williams fails to make it to the quarterfinals.

 

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