Fed Cup final - Petra Kvitova blog
by PETRA KVITOVA
Ahojte z Prahy! Hello from Prague! Iím here for the final event of my season, the Fed Cup Final against Serbia. I wish I could say that I have had the ideal preparation for the tie but unfortunately thatís not true. As you may know, I had to pull out of the WTA Championships in Istanbul last week with a viral infection and it has been a race against time for me to recover.
Itís always nice to start Fed Cup week though, so Iím really excited to be here. Thereís a lot of energy in the team and itís a totally different environment to the regular WTA tournaments. Here, ten of us eat dinner together every night, joking and laughing. We practice together, we have fun in the locker room, we have a DJ in there with great music, itís a really positive feeling.
Itís also huge to play with Czech Republic on your back. Itís more pressure to play at home in front of the people who really want you to win, but I enjoy this pressure. I like seeing the bench and their support between points, you canít feel that anywhere else. Tennis is an individual sport and sometimes I miss the team competition Ė which is what makes Fed Cup special.
The most important thing for me ahead of the weekend is rest rest rest, but that can be difficult before a final. On Monday, I played against Maria Sharapova in an exhibition at the O2 Arena Ė where we are also playing the Final. Luckily my friend and team-mate Lucie Safarova helped me out and we played one set each against Maria (three of us below).
It was my first proper exhibition but Maria has played them a lot and is great in those situations so we had some fun. I didnít play my best, but it was good to stand on the court and to feel the atmosphere so I know what I can expect for the weekend.
The arena was almost sold out and lots of people I know came to watch, including of course my parents and Czech ice hockey legend Jaromir Jagr.
My father bought a lot of tickets for the final. I used to travel with my mum and dad until I was 16 around the Czech Republic. It was a bit much at that age and a very intense relationship so I was really glad to move to Prostejov and have my own coach. Now when my parents come they have a different view, they know I am an adult and they can enjoy watching. My father is of course still stressed when I play but he is also very emotional if I win.
We have the draw ceremony tomorrow and the action starts on Saturday. I hope I am ready. I feel better every day and Iím a positive person so I will give 100 per cent because this is the last event of the season and I want to go out on a high.
Nov 1st, 2012, 10:15 PM
Nice. This is a perfect and detailed explanation on why some players love Fed Cup.
Nov 3rd, 2012, 05:21 PM
Part 2 (Friday):
Letís start with the good news. Yesterday I practiced for a full hour for the first time since the WTA Championships and I played pretty well. I felt some breathing problems but thatís normal with a cold and a cough, and of course my asthma, but it was much better than I thought it would be and this morning I felt even better. I wasnít the only one interested in how I would feel. Do you think I had enough coaches on the court with me? Iím not sureÖ.
The other good news for our team is that the court is getting faster every day. At the beginning of the week it was slow for the exhibition so I was a bit worried but yesterday was good and today it will be even faster. The faster it gets the better for me and by tomorrow it should be an advantage for us. Itís not quite grass, but itís nearly as good J
This morning we went to the beautiful Prague City Hall for the official draw ceremony. I hadnít been there before and had no idea how pretty it was. The draw for Fed Cup is of course a bit of a formality compared to a regular tournament as you already know more or less who you are going to play. I play second match tomorrow against Serbian No.2 Jelena Jankovic, so that gives me a little more time to prepare. Every second counts!
I believe Lucie (Safarova) can go out there and play her best and beat Ana Ivanovic in the first rubber, but both Serbiaís singles players have been No.1 in the world so every match will be really tough. They play quite differently: Ana has a big game, big serve and a hard forehand. She goes for winners and plays similarly to me. Jelena doesnít hit the ball as hard, but she is a great mover and she places the ball well and can move it around Ė so it will be hard to hit winners against her and I have to be careful to stay patient and wait for the right chance to finish the point.
I trained for the WTA Championships for three weeks with a similar gameplan Ė aggressive groundstrokes and approaching the net, the indoor fundamentals Ė so I will try to play the game that I was supposed to play in Istanbul J I hope I didnít forget those weeks of training. You know, itís not a court for long rallies and that suits my game. I have never been one to enjoy long rallies, even when I was a child.
I will practice for a couple of hours this afternoon - please keep everything crossed for me - and then I will see my parents tonight before the final team dinner. We wonít have a motivational speech as such, but tomorrow morning when we get to the locker room you can feel the atmosphere building and weíll be ready.
Nov 4th, 2012, 01:55 AM
Part 3 (Saturday):
Sometimes you wake up and know you are going to play good tennis, but today I wasnít sure.
The match-day preparation went well, but sometimes itís not easy watching the match before because you can start to get nervous. Towards the end of the first set I went to the locker room and had some quiet time and watched the second set from the sofa.
Luckily I had a lot of faith in Lucie and knew she would play well - she did a fantastic job and played so well to beat (Serbian No.1) Ana (Ivanovic). We had a big celebration in the locker room after she won but then it was time for me to focus on my job and to play my part for the team.
It was great to go on the court leading 1-0 and made a big difference psychologically. I have to say I am so happy with the way I played, it was unbelievable. Jelena played very well at the start of the match, but I knew my chance would come and I tried to stay calm, take my time in between points and keep motivated. When I broke back for 4-3 I started to play my best tennis and I managed to find the aggressive indoor tennis that I had been working so hard on before the WTA Championships.
There are some amazing fans here in the Czech Republic, with the trumpets and the drums, and the chants, I was trying not to listen too much and to just absorb the atmosphere rather than focus on it. At times the noise was so loud Ė it is the complete opposite to Wimbledon, where it is so quiet - but different rules apply in Fed Cup and I loved every second.
There were people from my hometown, Fulnek, my family, my little niece, my mental coach. I knew everyone was there so it was a special feeling to win the match point and to put a smile on peopleís faces. My boyfriend Adam arrived from another tournament right at the end, so unfortunately he couldnít see the match but at least he saw me win the last point and can watch tomorrow!
I have finished all my press so now I need to get back to the hotel, get some food with the team, receive some treatment from the doctor and get an early night because I am back on court at 11am tomorrow against Ana.
Lucie is lefty too so I watched her closely against Ana. I donít think Ana played too well today Ė she was under a lot of pressure Ė but she wonít have anything to lose against me tomorrow and I hope it will be another great match.
Mentally it will make a difference going to bed tonight 2-0 up, and hopefully will let me sleep more soundly, but of course if you take anything for granted it can all change. Serbians are fighters and we will have to be ready for anything.
Nov 5th, 2012, 08:34 AM
Petra was too busy drinking and celebrating to finish the blog:lol:
Nov 6th, 2012, 01:54 AM
We are Fed Cup champions. Again! It is an amazing feeling to have defended our title and to write these words.
Last year we won in Moscow, but to lift the trophy in front of family and friends makes it extra special and I canít stop smiling right now.
The support we received and the atmosphere in the stadium today was like nothing else and I have to say the fans were definitely part of our team.
In Moscow we didnít celebrate so much but this time we all went crazy, jumping, singing, shouting, posing for lots of funny photographs and of course spraying champagne all over each other in the locker room.
I even drank a glass of champagne, but I promise Iím not tipsy just tired!
The morning didnít start too well for me. I didnít sleep well and woke up with my body feeling tired. After illness itís not easy to recover so quickly from matches and of course I was nervous and really wanted to win to complete victory for the Czech Republic.
But Ana played a great match and I couldnít quite reproduce the form I found yesterday.
When I was 6-3 5-2 down I just tried to focus on every point, relax and not have too much emotion.
I came back and was close to winning the second set but Ana played well in the last game and hit a great winner on match point.
Last year in Moscow I won both my matches and played better overall while this year I only managed one point, so I have a little bit of personal disappointment, but of course itís a team competition and it doesnít matter who wins the final point as long we win it!
Besides, I could not be happier for Lucie. I have never seen Lucie play like that, she was absolutely incredible and on fire from start to finish. It was such an important match for us and she could not have handled it better.
So now Iíll get ready for the celebratory dinner tonight, weíll have some photos with the trophy around Prague tomorrow and then on Tuesday I get to finally board a flight without my tennis racquets.
I am going with my boyfriend to the Maldives and I donít plan on doing anything but lying on a beach. I think I will get on the plane with nothing in my head - I am too tired to even think about how this season has gone.
Thanks for reading my blog this week, I have enjoyed filling you in on what goes on during a Fed Cup final.
See you all soon,
:lol: It sounds so defiant.
Nov 6th, 2012, 06:07 AM
Petra finally recovered from her FC party hangover and did her Sunday blog the next day after the effects had worn off:p....either THAT or she had a sober ghostwriter