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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 02:28 PM   #2176
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
PS QPF:

I don't necessarily think Petra's weakness was outdoor hard courts per se. Remember she struggled on grass/at Wimlbedon until 2010 (she had never won on grass until that year). And she had made the 2008 French Open 4th rd and 2009 US Open 4th rd. The first tournament she won, was Hobart in 2008. And her second, was Brisbane in 2011. Both were outdoor hard courts arenas.

I think a lot of Petra's earlier Outdoor hard court performances (or lack of them), had to do with a combination of things, actually. It was Petra's poor scheduling, injuries, conditioning, mental frame work and asthma (playing in North America, outside of Europe, except Australia), along with her maturation as a both a young--competitively inexperienced, then as a top 10-type player.

I think think she's a good to very good outdoor hard court player now, and hopefully getting better. Hopefully, she does us proud the next few weeks.

Nonetheless (to your point), I think practicing at Prostojev, gave the young, relatively little traveled (as a junior) Kvitova, a sense of comfort playing indoors and in Europe--which may have affected her play else where. Plus as we discussed, it's rare, when most top tennis players, don't reside or have another home in a warm weather climate to play outdoors year round.

Speaking about Cernosek, and Petra succeeding despite him?? I think their current/prolonged mental management of Petra is wrong and indicative of amateurs vs professionals. Here's why, below.

It's clear to see, from listening to Petra's team, that her goal setting and mental management is guided by her sports psychologist. Why? Cause the ultimate goal of Kvitova's team, since 2011, was/is to keep her "relaxed", and not set or discuss specific goals (except briefly, when she was feeling very confident during 2011). This is another reason why Kotyza continues to be there (despite his apparent lack of tactical coaching ability and any confidence he should imbue in Petra vs top players). It's because he reputedly relaxes her.

The problem with a psychologist is: They'll say "this is the type of personality she has, and this is how you deal with it her".

On the other hand, a top level coach or advisor, says "okay, we see her current mindset. Now we have to transition, or get her to BUY INTO THIS (in this case setting higher goals, work ethic and expectations, currently for herself)"!

If the coaches and advisors are good, they're not going to force any immediate changes of thought onto a player. Not at all. They have to convince, or get the Player, Petra or pupil to buy in first. And that's what good coaches and advisors do. Anyone can get you to do, what you were used to/comfortable doing, and/or what you already believed. That's easy. However, Good/Great coaches actually get you to believe in doing things you never saw yourself doing, and in changing your mindset, confidence, and ultimate goals.

Petra may be able to BS her shrink and have her way. Of course she can...He or she is not a tennis player. However, Petra's not going to be able to BS Martina Nav's, Pavel Slozil or Ivan Lendl quite so easily. When Petra says "I was nervous or frightened! They'll look at her and say "I didn't see a player that was nervous or frightened. I saw a player that wasn't giving it their all. Can you tell me why, please Petra"!? ..."We can work on that!" That's the difference.

If Petra set her goals (either internally or externally) higher than that of the press or her fans: She could never worry about what people think or meeting them. Why?..Cause the Press and her fans expectations would never be as high as her own. And good players who do that, rarely get nervous before or after bad losses (think of all great champions). If anything, they're mad, and wanna go back out on the court and make up for it. They don't wallow in it (the bad, unexpected losses, criticism or expectations). It's all a mindset/approach.

Petra's current approach, allows her to wallow, which is why she's such a confidence player, and can go through so many inexplicable stretches of good, bad, up and down play and slumps. The irony of course is: The relaxed approach was supposed to prevent that.

I don't see how any great manager/business man (who shouldn't be making tennis decisions for his player in the first place ), could allow this team of misfits to guide Petra's career the past 3 years.

As it's been said: Petra currently wins despite her team, not because of them. And at this stage, it almost seems better, when Petra coaches herself.

Now, What does that say about Cernosek's, team and guidance?
Will go to the team bashing thread to comment on this...b/c that's the whole purpose of that thread
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2177
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Petra Kvitova @Petra_Kvitova
How do you like my racket's new cosmetic design? I like it a lot!
2:56 p.m. Sat, Mar 2

by: Petra Kvitova @Petra_Kvitova
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 03:55 PM   #2178
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

I guess she wants to keep her new Disco outfit in secret if it will be new


btw, Tomas flopped as expected. I knew when it get to 4 all he lost his chance
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:04 PM   #2179
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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btw, Tomas flopped as expected. I knew when it get to 4 all he lost his chance
NID
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:37 PM   #2180
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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NID
True. OTH, 'flopping to Djokovic' is an oxymoron. This guy is now at a different level than the rest of the field. Those skysport guys were right: 'Tomas wouldn't have botched that crucial volley had there been DelPotro on the other side of the net'
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:56 PM   #2181
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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True. OTH, 'flopping to Djokovic' is an oxymoron. This guy is now at a different level than the rest of the field. Those skysport guys were right: 'Tomas wouldn't have botched that crucial volley had there been DelPotro on the other side of the net'
Right, but also I personally think it's a very weak time for men's tennis at the moment. Fed old, Nadal just coming back from 7 months off and only playing clay, Murray nowhere to be seen.

Weak era in Men's tennis. Seems like no one else can step up.

Perhaps the others should start using the egg
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:14 PM   #2182
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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Right, but also I personally think it's a very weak time for men's tennis at the moment. Fed old, Nadal just coming back from 7 months off and only playing clay, Murray nowhere to be seen.

Weak era in Men's tennis. Seems like no one else can step up.

Perhaps the others should start using the egg
Interesting, I actually think that men's tennis is still quite strong and competitive, but no doubt it'd be stronger if it didn't have to rely solely on Europe. Traditional tennis powers like US or Australia are now irrelevant in singles, the same applies to big countries like Russia, China, etc. And DelPotro is the only world-class player from South America.
Men's tennis is now a bit similar to football, i.e. what's best in Europe is also the best in the world (see the Spanish football dominance).
But it's only a question of time when the US or some other big country produces a new Sampras or Agassi (even though Sampras is of European descent ).
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:40 PM   #2183
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

This article is like a book /mini essay! - It looks & appears (has paw prints) to have been written by our very own book writer Excelscior

Petra Kvitova and the search for perfection

http://www.sportskeeda.com/2013/02/2...or-perfection/


Of all the unattainable things that the human mind likes to fantasize about, perfection is both the most celebrated and the most bedeviled. Perfection – in any form or shape – is what the heart covets most of all, yet it is also the one thing that, we’ve been assured countless times, will always remain out of our reach. Beethoven’s 9th symphony and Michelangelo’s work on the Sistine Chapel have inspired legions of admirers and reams of gushing praise; despite their apparent flawlessness, however, critics have found flaws in them to maintain the tantalizing yet definitive gap between human effort and that mythical idea of perfection. No matter how immaculate a performance may look on the surface, there’s always going to be a way to undermine it – that’s become ingrained in our minds by now. And yet, I regularly lose sight of that dictum when I watch Petra Kvitova in full flow on a tennis court.

When Kvitova won the 2011 Wimbledon championship by putting up a scarcely-believable display of pure offensive tennis in the final against Maria Sharapova, I had predicted, perhaps foolishly, that Kvitova was destined to rule women’s tennis for the foreseeable future. That certainly hasn’t come to pass; in the two-year period that has elapsed since then, the Czech has failed to add another Slam title to her tally, and hasn’t even reached the No. 1 ranking. But every now and then, she puts up performances like the ones she did in the first and third sets against Sara Errani in the Dubai final yesterday, and you end up grasping at straws to find reasons for her career struggles. Yesterday, I once again found myself asking the question that has plagued me ever since that defining Wimbledon victory: why exactly is this woman not lording over the rest of the women’s field (excluding Serena Williams)?

Yes, for those two sets, and for almost the entire tournament before the final, Kvitova’s tennis was actually that good. It was even, in some games and several rallies, perfect. As she takes the ball impossibly early and makes those almighty swings with her racquet, you know, and her opponent probably knows with even more painful obviousness, that there’s nothing that can be done. You can learn all the tricks in the world, and practise tirelessly to find ways to redirect your opponent’s power, but nothing can prepare you for Kvitova’s raw, unbridled shot-making. Errani, who is one of the quickest and most dogged counterpunchers on the tour today, was left flat-footed by a screaming, meters-away winner so often yesterday that after a while it started looking like a battle between a 20-time Slam winner and a junior player. There were some points that lasted longer than 5 shots, and in some of those you briefly got the feeling that the Italian had managed to get a foothold in a rally; but then – wham! – out of nowhere, Kvitova would nonchalantly change the direction of the ball and end the point with a spectacular, line-cleaning winner. Yesterday, and for most of her career, she made hitting winners look like the easiest thing in the world.

As brilliant as Kvitova was in the first and third sets, though, Errani made all the running in the middle second set. Wisely realizing the futility of exchanging blows with her opponent from the baseline, Errani started attacking the net like a woman possessed. She approached the net behind her serve, behind every remotely well-struck groundstroke, and even behind some of her returns. The sudden change in proceedings seemed to surprise Kvitova, and rusty as they were, her first few passing shots couldn’t make nearly enough of an impression on the deft touch and soft hands of Errani. That small shift in momentum, however, did more than just win a few points for Errani. It also acted as the catalyst for Kvitova’s whole game to come unstuck – for the awesome winners to be replaced by awful errors, and for her barks of celebration to be replaced by screams of frustration. Her serve followed her groundstrokes down south, and suddenly, for no apparent reason, it was Kvitova who was looking like the junior player and Errani the accomplished champion. The set whizzed by with a 6-1 scoreline in favor of Errani, and when the Czech went three break points down at 1-1 in the third set, her self-destruction seemed on the verge of being set in dispiriting stone.

Fortunately for Kvitova, her game switched on just as suddenly as it had switched off. Faced with the first real threat of actually losing the match, she rediscovered her big serve and laser groundstrokes, and once she did that, there was no real doubt how the match would end. Errani’s net rushes were now met with assured passing winners, and before you knew it, Kvitova had wrapped up the set 6-1, and with it the match. She finished the contest exactly the way she had started it – with a barrage of monstrous, inch-perfect winners – and she had the Dubai title to show for it. Looking at the closing stages of the tournament, you wouldn’t have guessed how close Kvitova had come to throwing it all away, and considering that she actually did win the trophy, it is perhaps pointless to pontificate on those lapses of concentration. In the big picture, though, those lapses of concentration matter. They matter so much, in fact, that they can separate the legendary champions from the random, inconsistent-yet-spectacular shot-makers.

Is that what it is, then? Is Kvitova being held back solely by her inability to keep her focus during her matches? I wish it were that simple. And I’m guessing Kvitova wishes that too. The woman has been frequently plagued by injuries over the past year; her asthma makes playing in hot and humid conditions incredibly difficult, and is one of the reasons for her sub-par performances in North American tournaments. Then there’s the pressure of handling the fact that she should win most of her matches because of her physical superiority over nearly every woman on tour (a problem that also regularly cripples Samantha Stosur). There’s also, sometimes, the pressure of dealing with the possibility of greater glory being within her grasp, which she has not dealt with particularly well so far. Last year at the Australian Open, she seemed to let the possibility of reaching the No. 1 ranking mess with her head, which resulted in a strange semifinal loss to Sharapova. More recently, in the Doha quarterfinal, after controlling the proceedings for most of the match, she froze when within striking distance of claiming her first victory over Serena Williams.

During the time I’ve followed Kvitova’s career, I’ve been frequently reminded of the saying “there’s a fine line between genius and stupidity”. Her winners are absolutely thrilling to the naked eye; when they land flush on the line, you can’t help but give a gasp of disbelief and then thunderously applaud her for her daredevilry. And when she hits an almost identical shot to an earlier winner, but which this time lands a couple of inches outside the line, you are tempted to dismiss her as a mindless ball-basher who has no patience. Her mid-match facial expressions are similarly dazzling-or-dismal. When things are working well for her, her eyes widen in fierce determination, and every step that she makes on the court, including the seemingly-inadvisable-but-ultimately-fruitful forays to the net, look like the product of a fabulously intelligent tennis mind. And when things go pear-shaped, her eyes widen again, but this time it’s more of a deer-in-the-headlights look than a woman-on-a-mission one. For Kvitova, there is a fine line between genius and stupidity indeed. Or at least that’s what it looks like.

Almost every player faces the kinds of problems that Kvitova does, but not every player is blessed with the kind of raw talent that the Czech is born with. In fact, no player has the kind of effortless power that Kvitova does; not even Serena. So we’ll keep waiting, then, for the day when Kvitova finally irons out her physical and mental flaws and becomes the tennis player that she seems destined to be. And you don’t have to think too hard to know why we await that day. The promise, after all, is seeing a tennis player regularly take the game of tennis to new heights with her unadulterated, show-stopping play. The promise is seeing perfection, day-in and day-out.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:58 PM   #2184
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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This article is like a book /mini essay! - It looks & appears (has paw prints) to have been written by our very own book writer Excelscior
I think it was a nice read. Good job, Excelsior!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 08:24 PM   #2185
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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Petra Kvitova @Petra_Kvitova
How do you like my racket's new cosmetic design? I like it a lot!
2:56 p.m. Sat, Mar 2

by: Petra Kvitova @Petra_Kvitova
I love how up front she is that it's just her original racquet with a paint job, she didn't even plug the new Steam 99S.

(although I do love that racquet it's designed to provide both power and spin and has a great feel )
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Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 08:40 PM   #2186
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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I love how up front she is that it's just her original racquet with a paint job, she didn't even plug the new Steam 99S.

(although I do love that racquet it's designed to provide both power and spin and has a great feel )
Blade is more fun
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Old Mar 3rd, 2013, 05:47 PM   #2187
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

http://www.tennischannel.com/news/Ne...x?newsid=12115

Steve Flink on our Lioness

Petra Kvitova can be both exhilarating and exasperating. She is an enigma in many ways, an immensely gifted player with a propensity to take control of almost any match she plays, a prodigious shotmaker who can effortlessly release winners off both sides richly and abundantly from any part of the court. She is a dazzling left-hander who leaves opponents befuddled by making improbable shots routinely, and yet this woman can also commit abysmal unforced errors with alarming regularity. She can be her own worst enemy, or an unstoppable force who doesn’t care who happens to be standing on the other side of the net. Kvitova is unexplainable, and that makes her a singularly fascinating performer in the world of women’s tennis.

A few days ago, Kvitova secured her first singles title of the young 2013 campaign, taking the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with impressive wins over Daniela Hantuchova, Ana Ivanovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Sara Errani. Kvitova played the kind of tennis her most fervent boosters wish she could replicate almost all of the time. She controlled her destiny every time she stepped on the court, left her adversaries bewildered and fundamentally helpless, kept her composure nearly every step of the way. The previous week in Doha, Qatar, Kvitova had pushed Serena Williams to the hilt in a stirring quarterfinal contest, building a 4-1 third set lead before the American battled back gamely and tenaciously to win. Clearly and irrefutably, Kvitova is moving in the right direction, and the women’s game is better for it.

In the Dubai final against Errani, Kvitova was primed for her appointment against the versatile Italian. In the early stages of this showdown, Kvitova was striking the ball majestically. Her timing was exemplary, her confidence was soaring, and the ball was flying off her racket with extraordinary pace and precision. It was a pleasure to watch her play with such verve and uninhibited brilliance. Kvitova broke Errani at love in the first game of the match, opening that chapter with an inside-out overhead winner, closing it with a barrage of big shots that led to an inside-out forehand winner. She held at 30 for 2-0, winning all four of her points with clean winners off the forehand side.

The pattern continued. On her way to 15-40 in the third game, Kvitova produced two more winners. An understandably shaken Errani double faulted, and Kvitova had the insurance break for 3-0. She had won 12 of 15 points to establish her comfortable lead. Although Kvitova was taken to deuce in the fourth game, she moved to 4-0 with a backhand winner driven impeccably down the line. Errani managed to take the next two games. But Kvitova played another spectacular game to break for at 15 for 5-2, cracking four outright winners, two off the forehand and a pair off the backhand. Although Kvitova struggled on serve in the eighth game, she held on her fourth set point to seal the set 6-2.

When Kvitova broke Errani in the opening game of the second set, a rout seemed entirely possible. But the sprightly Italian began altering her game sweepingly, and her new strategic framework was highly effective,catching Kvitova considerably off guard. Errani looked for her every opportunity to attack, and did so remarkably well. Errani’s flexibility was admirable, and a reflection of her status as one of the world’s best doubles players. Her technique on the volley is terrific. After breaking back for 1-1 in that second set, Errani held at love for 2-1. With Kvitova serving at 30-15 in the fourth game, Errani adroitly took the net away from her opponent with a well-played lob, and then came forward to make a sparkling backhand drop volley winner.

Kvitova battled on, saved a break point at 30-40, but then Errani approached behind a return of serve to provoke Kvitova into an errant backhand passing shot long. Kvitova was briefly rattled, serving her sixth double fault of the match to fall behind 3-1. Errani held quickly at 15 for 4-1.With Kvitova serving at 15-40 in the following game, Errani followed her return in, and then put away an overhead to make it 5-1 in her favor. At 30-30 in the seventh game, Errani served-and-volleyed, setting up a backhand volley winner. She sealed the set 6-1. Errani had lost all three of her previous contests with Kvitova in straight sets, but now at last she had snapped that streak, giving herself a fighting chance.

The pivotal game of the match occurred at 1-1 in the third and final set. Kvitova had already danced out of some danger in the opening game, saving a break point. But now, in the third game, with Errani building momentum steadily, the emotional lefty fell behind 0-40. She could hardly have displayed more poise and professionalism than she did at this critical juncture. Kvitova released a service winner wide to the backhand for 15-40,then sent another excellent first serve up the T to set up a forehand winner for 30-40, and made it back to deuce with a trademark inside-out forehand winner off an awkward high ball. Kvitova held on for 2-1 by sweeping five points in a row, missing only one first serve in that span.

Errani moved to 40-15 in the next game, but Kvitova swept three consecutive points. It was break point for the 22-year-old from the Czech Republic. Errani had come this far by changing her tactics and approaching the net persistently, so she stuck with that plan. But Kvitova was ready. Errani served-and-volleyed but Kvitova rolled a forehand return crosscourt for a winner past the charging Italian. It was not the cleanest shot Kvitova played all day, but it was the most important. She had the break for 3-1 in the third set, and never looked back. Holding at love for 4-1, she produced four more winners, two off the forehand and two on her two-handed side.

There was no stopping Kvitova. Errani fought through two deuces in the sixth game, but Kvitova was relentlessly aggressive, attaining the break for 5-1 with a winning forehand down the line on the edge of the sideline. She held at love to win convincingly 6-2, 1-6, 6-1. The final statistics are very revealing. Kvitova had 46 winners and 36 unforced errors,while Errani made only ten unforced mistakes and hit eleven winners. This was Kvitova’s tenth triumph in twelve career tournament finals, which proves that she is awfully tough to beat under those circumstances. Only a first rate, big match player wins so many final round contests. Her problem, of course, is avoiding early round losses, defeats she could probably avoid, setbacks of her own making. Perhaps over the next few years, this sporadically brilliant player will find a level of consistency she has lacked thus far.

And yet, the fact remains that Kvitova has been in the upper reaches of her sport for quite a while now. In 2011, she concluded the season as the No. 2 ranked player in the world, surpassed only by Wozniacki. That year, she appeared in her first and only Grand Slam tournament final, facing the estimable Maria Sharapova on the Centre Court of Wimbledon. Calmly, methodically, often spectacularly, Kvitova took apart Sharapova in straight sets to win the game’s preeminent prize at 21. In 2012, Kvitova had a surprisingly stable run at the majors, reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open and Roland Garros, the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the round of 16 at the U.S. Open. But her results elsewhere were not terribly impressive, and she finished the year at No. 8 in the world.

That is too low for a player of her talent. Kvitova has moved to No. 7 after her tournament victory in Dubai, her first since New Haven last summer. The hope here is that she will do herself justice over the course of 2013 and beyond, and return where she belongs to the top five. To be sure, the three players who reside at the top of the rankings will be hard for Kvitova to overcome on a regular basis. Serena Williams, Azarenka and Sharapova are a trio of champions who are all playing the best tennis of their lives. But the players who are stationed just above Kvitova are competitors she ought to be able to surpass.

Kvitova handled world No. 4 Radwanska with ease in Dubai, and at her best she is a better player than the elegant Polish defensive stylist. Li Na is currently No. 5, and the beguiling Chinese player is a resurgent competitor as she moves toward her 31st birthday on Tuesday. But the view here is that Kvitova can move past Li later this year. Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber stands at No. 6. The German left-hander is clearly not the same player now that she was a year ago.

Kvitova did not start this season auspiciously. In her first five tournaments leading up to Dubai, she did not make it beyond the quarterfinals. She fell in the second round of the Australian Open in a hard fought encounter against Laura Robson. But her mindset has changed lately, and her game is coming around magnificently. The one area of concern for Kvitova must be her serve. She double faults far too often, and needs to become more reliable on her delivery if she wants to overcome the leading players in her profession.

But her ground game is so devastatingly potent that Kvitova seems destined to move back among the top five. She can make a serious run again at a major this year, perhaps at Wimbledon, if not at the U.S. Open. For too long now, she has been wildly unpredictable and infuriating, wasting her great gift for this game, squandering opportunities across the board. The next couple of years are crucial for Petra Kvitova, but the feeling grows that she is closing in on the finest tennis of her career.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 03:14 PM   #2188
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Kvitova is making her presence felt
Quote:
When Petra Kvitova hits the ball, she hits it big.

That means, on more than a few occasions, those low liners sail out of the tennis court. Among the truly elite players in the game -- along with Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, for instance -- Kvitova might play with the slimmest margin for safety.

Would she maybe, possibly consider taking just a little bit off some of those screamers -- like those three named above -- to keep some rallies going, in search of a higher-percentage winner?

"My big shots, if they're working good, well, that's always better in my mind," Kvitova said last week from her home in the Czech Republic. "Unforced errors are part of my game."

She laughed as she said it.

We saw the dazzling components of her game all in sync at Wimbledon in 2011, and at the WTA year-end championships. And then, well, what?

In 2012, Kvitova won titles in Montreal and New Haven, but never resembled the revelation from the year before. Already in 2013, though, there have been flashes of her former form.

A few weeks ago in Doha, she was up on Serena Williams 4-1 in the third set of their quarterfinal match and, despite losing, came away encouraged.

"It was a really good match from my side, a good fight," Kvitova said afterward. "I mean, it was just one game when I lost my serve, and that was the key of the second set. The third I had some chances to finish the match."

Williams, clearly, was impressed.

"I think Petra played unbelievable, and I think she was just hitting shots I had no chance to get," she said. "I don't think anyone on this tour could have gotten."

Kvitova is 6-feet tall -- in the same wheelhouse as the top three -- but she has one thing they don't: left-handedness. Kvitova and Angelique Kerber are the only lefties in the top 10 and it gives them an advantage, particularly when it comes to serving. Kvitova has all the physical tools to succeed, she just needs more confidence.

In Dubai she knocked off three top-10 players -- Caroline Wozniacki, Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani -- on the way to the title. She'll have opportunities to beat the marquee names on the upcoming Indian Wells-Miami swing.

Last week ESPN.com chatted with Kvitova, who turns 23 on Friday.


ESPN.com: In Dubai, you beat three of the top 10 players ... how did that feel?

Petra Kvitova:
I served out three big wins, but I don't think it was only three top 10s. I consider Ana Ivanovic -- a former No. 1 -- a top 10 player, so it was a really good tournament for me. It's been awhile since I felt that good, after losing at the Australian Open (to British teenager Laura Robson in the second round). But I came back in Fed Cup, played two great matches, one of them against Samantha [Stosur]. I fought a lot against [Nadia] Petrova in Doha, so it's been coming together.

ESPN.com: Even though you lost to Serena in Doha, how important was that match in gaining confidence?

Petra Kvitova: Well, when I play against Serena I know I have to play my best. I played very well and very close, and I took a lot away from it. Even though it's so early in the season, this match gives me a lot of confidence. I know I can play against great players. I just have to work harder off the court and it will happen.

ESPN.com:
You hit your shots so big. Do you ever think of taking a little bit off?

Petra Kvitova: Well, no, I don't think so. I mean, yes, I am trying to play more rallies and not play for two shots. I know I can play in the rallies. The things I have to improve are my serve, for sure, and my fitness. I need to be quicker to the ball. I'm also working on playing more volleys and slices. My game is changing. But in the big moments, I know I need to go for my shots.

ESPN.com: You won Wimbledon in 2011, but haven't reached a Grand Slam final since. What do you have to do to get back there?

Petra Kvitova: For me, I think it's a lot about confidence. You know when you are high in tennis [rankings], everyone has the forehand, the backhand, the serve. But not everyone has a lot of confidence all of the time. If you are feeling very well, feeling the ball, everything is much easier. So, if I can run more, catch more balls, hit all the shots, well ... [laughing] that's a lot of things, isn't it?

ESPN.com: With Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams playing so well, do you feel like you can win another major this year?

Petra Kvitova: Well, it depends, of course. When I won Wimbledon, all those things worked together. Everything I did those two weeks worked really well. I hope one time I can replay that tournament, but I never know when it's going to be. I am working hard to win, that's for sure. Of course, they are great players. Maybe I can play them again and it will all be good.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 04:00 PM   #2189
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

http://espn.go.com/tennis/blog/_/nam...solving-skills

Kvitova showcases problem-solving skills



Petra Kvitova made the Dubai hard court look like a sand box. Kvitova's deep blasts displaced opponents who looked like they were spinning their wheels on sand in a futile effort to gain ground on the 2011 Wimbledon champion.

Kvitova shook off a second-round Australian Open loss by leveling the field. She sandwiched sweeps of former No. 1s Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki around a quarterfinal thumping of fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska before defeating French Open finalist Sara Errani, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1, to take the title.

Changing direction of her flat drives brilliantly, the 6-foot Czech's all-court attack made even clever counter-punchers feel as though they were operating at the wrong end of a shooting gallery.

"It was just two short balls and it's over," said Radwanska, who fell to 1-4 lifetime against Kvitova. "It's a bomb coming from the other side."

The left-hander's ability to detonate points with a single swing disarms opponents, denying them the rhythm that comes from playing longer rallies while presenting a fundamental problem. How do you solve an opponent who refuses to let you rally?

"The problem is not that she's tall; the problem is that she serves very good. She hits so strong," Errani said. "It's tough to move her. It's hard to play because her ball is very flat. I don't have time to do the points that I want to do, to play the game that I want to play. All the points are very short, and it's very tough."

The powerful performance served as a reminder that Kvitova, who was two wins away from the No. 1 ranking at the 2012 Australian Open before stumbling through a trying season plagued by inconsistency and illness, can be a force at the top of the game when she's right.

Kvitova's course to her 10th career title and first since she won New Haven last August was considerably smoother given the world's top three players -- Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova -- did not play Dubai. And though this is a significant step, she's still facing a desert-sized gap to regain a spot in the top three.

The world No. 7 trails the top-ranked Williams by more than 5,000 ranking points; she is not nearly as quick around the court and doesn't deploy the array of spins Serena can, particularly on serve. She's not as consistent as Azarenka, whom she has not faced since the 2011 WTA Championships final, and she doesn't evoke the fierce ruthlessness of Sharapova on a point-to-point basis. That explains Kvitova's combined 6-10 career record versus the world's top three, including an 0-4 mark against world No. 1 Serena and a 2-4 record against third-ranked Sharapova.

Yet those stats don't detract from the fact her upside is immense. Kvitova, who celebrates her 23rd birthday on March 8, is the second-youngest player in the top 10. She can dictate on serve, dominate on return and owns the most complete game of any woman not named Serena. She is an all-surface threat who has won titles on hard court, grass and clay and has reached at least the semifinals of every major except the U.S. Open.

When she's on her game, Kvitova is a brilliant ball-striker, whose shots are as tough to read as an SOS message scrawled across the surface of a lake.

"Petra played unbelievable; I think she was just hitting shots I had no chance to get," said Serena after roaring back from a 4-1 third-set deficit to defeat Kvitova in Doha earlier this month. "I don't think anyone on this tour could have gotten them."

Though she was prone to periods of erratic tennis last season, Kvitova is much more than a mindless baseline-blaster. Her frontcourt finesse makes her backcourt power even more menacing. When opponents drop back behind the baseline and defend in an effort to coax errors, as Wozniacki did in Dubai, Kvitova is comfortable closing at net. She won 15 of 17 trips to net versus Wozniacki, unleashing drive, drop and angled volleys to create closure.

She must still sharpen her shot selection. When the 5-foot-4 Errani rushed the net with regularity in the second set of the final, Kvitova opted to try to drill flat passes by her rather than playing high-percentage lobs over the diminutive Italian's head. And sometimes it looked like Kvitova was oblivious to the situation when she sails returns beyond the baseline. But the fact Kvitova captured the title while her longtime coach, David Kotyza, was on vacation, should give her confidence in her problem-solving skills.

A year ago, Kvitova often looked like she was battling two adversaries during singles play: Her opponent and her asthma, which is exacerbated playing in heat. She looks fitter and fresher now, has won nine of her past 10 matches, and if she can sustain her health and current level of play, look for Kvitova to gain ground at Premier events in Indian Wells and Miami, where she won just one match last season.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 09:06 PM   #2190
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Angie Kerber just said on the radio that the court at IW is very fast
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