Petra Kvitova continues her hunt for a first US Open on Thursday, playing Andrea Petkovic for a spot in the third round. New York has traditionally been the toughest destination for the Czech when it comes to slam tennis, never making it past the quarter finals in her career.
For a year that saw her return to a slam final, it seems silly to say that Kvitova might be disappointed with her year but that is much more down to the stop-start nature of her season thanks to niggling injuries. A promising Wimbledon run ended in round four at the hands of Johanna Konta and she has played just one match between that and the US Open. That was a three set loss to Maria Sakkari, who added the Cincinnati win to Rome earlier in the season. She saw off a feisty performance from her fellow Czech Denisa Allertova in the first round but more importantly her arm issues look to have subsided for the most part. . “I don’t really feel any pain, just getting swollen,” she said.
Now outside the top 80, Petkovic is a far cry from the player that was once in the Top 10 years back. She did ease past a former top 20 player in Mihaela Buzarnescu on Tuesday, breaking the Romanian’s serve five times in total. The German will be delighted to have got a win under her belt, having lost in the opening round in the opening two years at the US Open.
The head to head is actually a surprising 5-3 in Petkovic’s favour but most of those came at the turn of the decade where the German was at her best. She did however win the last slam meeting in 2018, outlasting Kvitova 10-8 in the third. That can’t happen here but the Czech will be eager to close out the match much earlier, something she should do if the rustiness has been shaken off.
Prediction – Petra Kvitova in straight sets