Going back 6 months, noone would have expected Petra Kvitova to be fighting fit for Wimbledon never mind being seen as one of the favourites for the tournament. In just the second tournament back after her horrific injuries, she crushed the field at Birmingham and seemingly show that she is ready to pick up her third title. She will be second up on Centre Court, facing Johanna Larsson.
Despite the hype, Petra is playing down her chances of taking the Venus Rosewater Dish. “It doesn’t raise my expectation coming to Wimbledon because six months, it’s a long time when I didn’t play,” she said. “I’m playing OK but I’m still missing matches. It’s something I can’t train for. It was my dream to come here to play. That was the goal of my recovery.”
She dropped just 1 set in Birmingham, to Ashleigh Barty in the final. On her way there, she was rarely troubled so it was heartening to see how she fought back from a set down in the final against Barty. It was the first time she had gone three since her return, something that was almost something of a trademark for her prior. As she mentioned in Birmingham, very little change has had to have been made to her technique. Given the way many players have had to change styles after injury, this puts her ahead of many although the long lasting damage to her hand may see this change in future.
Larsson is almost a perfect opponent for Kvitova. The Swede does not do well on grass, going 0-2 last year and was last seen on court in Bol at the start of June. This means that she doesn’t have any grass tennis behind her going into the tournament. Petra should extend her record over Larsson to 5-0 (3-0 main draw) with relatively little trouble.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in straight sets