The pressure is back on Petra Kvitova, who is considered the favourite to win the Wimbledon title. It would be the Czech’s third, having won back in 2011 and 2014. She will play Aleksandra Sasnovich second on Court 1 with the winner going on to play one of Pauline Parmentier or Taylor Townsend.
Sasnovich is in a bit of rut as she heads into a match with one of the best grass players in the game. She has lost five of her last six matches including both on grass, the most recent of them coming in straight sets to Antonia Lottner. She has made the second round at Wimbledon twice but the Belarussian found much of her success on hard courts, owing her leap into the top 50 to a strong performance in Australia at the start of the year.
Kvitova’s favouritism has come down to her previous dominance as well as her repeat title win in Birmingham. She beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the final there, coming from a set down for victory. The Czech may be relieved to be scheduled late afternoon given the relative heatwave and the effect hot conditions can sometimes have on her. Kvitova has not had a first round exit at Wimbledon since 2009 and will not want to experience that this time either. “I think is the first round, the nerves will be there for sure. I just need to kind of fight with myself every time. On the other hand I’m very looking forward to playing, so… That’s important, as well.” she said.
With 5 titles on the year, Kvitova leads the tour and is delighted with her success since the horrifying injuries she suffered early in 2017. “I couldn’t really imagine myself having six titles (+ Birmingham 2017) since I come back. It was just something which I couldn’t imagine, especially this year, since the beginning of the season. I’m very happy with that.” she said.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in straight sets