missvarsha is always spilling that truth tea about Ludmila. Only bit that's wrong is the part about this career being picked out for her when she was 5 or 6; Ludmila didn't start training seriously until she was significantly older than that, probably when she realised she was actually pretty handy at this funny little game called tennis.
I think Corswandt is right when he says that Ludmila probably never envisaged herself as a top flight tennis player when she was younger, and therefore getting the motivation and drive to keep up the stringent fitness regimes of the majority of her contemporaries, who no doubt have been playing since they were 5 or 6, has proved a big, big struggle.
Yes, you are correct.
Petra played tennis mostly for fun, but was good enough to play some Junior Tournaments here and there, around the Czech Republic and Europe. She grew up, playing indoors with her brothers on a converted basketball court, or outdoors on public Clay Courts, when it was warm enough.
But you're right, she didn't take herself seriously, until she decided to turn professional at 16-17 yrs old, and went for training at Prostojev. She was actually asked (according to her father) at 8 yrs old, but he declined. He wasn't ready for her to leave home. So that should tell you something, on how seriously (or the lack of it), that they/she took tennis.
Petra's two brothers were also surprised she was going to turn professional, cause they didn't think she was mean enough. They thought she was "too nice".
So a lot of this (playing tennis for "fun" vs other player that were bred for it young, with their requisite competitiveness, and Petra's "nice" personality) is just a reflection of her current/overall professionalism, seriousness, toughness and competitiveness.
Hopefully, she'll wise up, realize that this is her chosen living and toughen up and take it more seriously. Things were easy on the way up. Now she's the hunted, and has to be willing to put the work and focus in to maintain top flight results. Maybe she doesn't want to?
At the moment, her strategy, is to keep playing, until she's finds her form, gets hot, then goes on a roll. SMH
It would also have helped, if she didn't play Fed Cup, Czech Extraliga, and a Sharapova Exo--at the end of last year--while recovering from illness. I think that may have affected her preparation for the 2013 season as well.