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Spotlight on: Petra Kvitova


 

Originally published on: 30/06/11 14:51

You’re at a career-high ranking now. How’ve you achieved that?
I’m playing well right now and I feel healthy too – that’s important. I’m feeling very strong mentally too – I hope that continues.

What aspects of your game are you trying to improve?
It’s tough to pinpoint just one thing. To be honest, I have to improve everything.

What are your goals this year?
To be honest, I don’t have a number I’m aiming for. I just want to stay healthy and I want to play my game and try to improve everything – mentally, my tennis and tactics. We’ll see!

What were your highlights last year?
For sure reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon. It was a nice tournament for me. I had great experience there and I played many good matches.

Can you try to describe what it feels like to win big matches at a Grand Slam – you beat Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki both in straight sets during that run last year.
I try not to see who’s on the other side of the net. I just wanted to play my game.

You lost to Serena Williams in the semis, but it was a close match. Have you learned from that experience?
Yeah, I played good that day. When I stepped onto Centre Court I was just looking forward to playing the match. I wasn’t afraid, I just enjoyed it.

What makes Serena so difficult to play? Is it pure strength?
She has a big serve. This is something I want to develop too. I’m left-handed, so it’s a little different for me, but it’s something I will work on.

Do you use your left hand for everything?
Mostly, I use my right when I’m using scissors though!

We heard you love basketball and volleyball. Do you play?
I did. I played until I was nine years old because my dad was a volleyball coach. I also played basketball at school. But just for fun – tennis is better!

You won the WTA Tour Newcomer of the Year award last year. How did that feel?
That was a surprise. I was at a fitness camp when I heard. It was a nice surprise. I didn’t know about the trophy.

Who do you hang out with on tour?
Many Czech players and some from the Slovak Republic.

You train alongside Lucie Safarova and Tomas Berdych – are they friends?
Yes, I play Fed Cup with Lucie, too, which is nice.

Do you enjoy Fed Cup tennis?
Yes, I love it. It’s a nice change to be part of a team, not only playing for yourself. It’s a great atmosphere.

Favourite Grand Slam?
I like them all, but now I like Wimbledon! I don’t like Paris too much because there are many people everywhere – you cannot move.

Favourite surfaces?
I’m not happy on the clay, but I’m happy on hard and grass. I liked grass before I did well at Wimbledon last year. It suits me because I have a good left-handed serve.

Favourite player to watch?
Roger Federer.

Favourite player of all time?
Roger Federer!

How about Martina Navratilova?
Yes, she was my idol growing up. She was from the Czech Republic also, she’s left-handed too. I met her at Wimbledon. She sent me congratulations and good luck messages during the event. That was really nice.

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