Following an extended break from the tour following the French Open, Petra Kvitova is back in form on tour and will look to capitalize on the opportunity, as she begins her title defense at the All England Tennis Club on Tuesday. The Czech star will begin her campaign against Kiki Bertens, whom she has never faced previously on the professional tour.
The world No. 2 has been absent from the tour since losing in the fourth round of the French Open to Timea Bacsinszky. It was not planned that strategically, as Kvitova got sick and was unable to prepare by taking part in pre-Wimbledon tournaments. She was forced to withdraw from Eastbourne last week and will now have to play the prestigious grass court Grand Slam without any grass court preparation.
“The preparation, because I got sick, wasn’t perfect,” she said. “But I’m trying to find good form. I hope on Tuesday I will be ready 100% but of course I missed a few days of practice. The pressure, the nerves are going to be there for sure, doesn’t matter whether I was sick or not. Still, when I step on the court on Tuesday it will be the same feelings. It will be very tough and nervous.”
“I think a lot of athletes want to have a break but they didn’t do it,” she said. “But I feel much better than before. I’m really happy to be back on the court to play tennis, to really do what I love. That’s the important thing. I recharged some batteries, for sure. I am really glad I am able to compete. I think it was a really tough decision for me to miss the two big tournaments during March. I’m glad that I did it. I just felt exhausted and tired from everything, so that’s why.”
Kvitova will come up against Kiki Bertens, who won three matches at S-Hertogenbosch before she lost to Camila Giorgi afterwards.
This marks the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and should be a match that favours the defending champion. Kvitova is one of the most beautiful players to watch when she is on form and grass has always been one of those places where she shines.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova in Straight Sets