Kvitova Gears Up For Final Flourish
This year has seen Petra Kvitova pick up two titles, make the last four at two majors and come within a whisker of capturing the World No.1 ranking. However, if the season was to end today, by her very high standards, Kvitova would probably look back upon it with a tinge of regret.
Luckily, it doesn't, and with the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012 and the Fed Cup final still to come, Kvitova has every chance of turning a good season into a great one.
Twelve months ago, Kvitova confirmed her status as one of tennis' most exciting prospects by embarking on a 12-match win streak that helped her end the Czech Republic's 23-year wait for a Fed Cup triumph and take home titles in Linz and Istanbul.
It is fair to say, then, that the 22-year-old is a fan of the WTA's whistle-stop tour of Europe's indoor halls and arenas each October.
"I enjoy this time of season, indoors, the Championships and then of course the Fed Cup final," Kvitova said. "It's really important for me to finish 2012 on a high.
"This year I qualified for the Championships without winning a Grand Slam, and it's great to be there again for confidence going into 2013. I still have a lot to improve."
After a momentum-building run during the North American hardcourt season, Kvitova hit a bit of a bump in the road in Asia last month, with early exits in both Tokyo and Beijing. A mystery stomach bug contributed to the second of these defeats and saw her make an earlier-than-expected return home.
Now, with a clean bill of health, Kvitova plans to spend the next week or so alongside coach David Kotyza on the indoor courts of her home club in Prostejov, adding the final touches to her preparations for Istanbul and the Fed Cup final against Serbia.
Kotyza is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead, not just in Istanbul but for 2013 and beyond, and believes the best is yet to come from his talented young charge.
"I am very proud of Petra," Kotyza said. "She is always trying to be better, every day, sometimes with success and sometimes not.
"But it doesn't matter, after her unbelievable 2011, there are a lot of people around her who take the success as a norm, but it is not possible. She is well grounded, but she is still very young and needs time to progress further.
"Before Istanbul, we will concentrate mostly on her indoor fundamentals: serve, return, aggressive play from the baseline with transition shots. We are looking forward to it and believe we can achieve a positive end to the season."
The final word, though, goes to Kvitova herself, who after a turbulent year is just looking forward to being back in Istanbul.
"I think after last season, which was unbelievable for me, it is great satisfaction to be at the Championships again," she said. "It means a lot to me. It means that I had a solid season despite the injuries, with some great results, and was able to back up last year.
"Mostly, I look forward to the matches. Every match will be a big fight against great players. I'm also looking forward to playing in front of the great Turkish crowd, so many people came to watch us last year and I hope it will be the same. I remember from last year what a great event it was."