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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #16
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

In this USA Today article, none Other than US Fed Cup coach/ESPN analyst (and miss IMF/Sharapova) Mary Joe Fernandez calls Petra the "hardest hitter she's ever seen", and her coach talks about her big match ability, reasons for earlier grass losses, and her relatively late tennis start and more.

Does the MJF quote make up for Chris Evert's and Pam Shriver's awful analysis of Petra's game and chances vs Vica, Masha & Wimby in general on ESPN? Lol


By Douglas Robson, Special for USA TODAY

Posted 2d 9h ago2h 16m ago |

WIMBLEDON, England — Are grass court champions made or born?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic earns her first Wimbledon title, and her frist Grand Slam title, in her first Grand Slam final appearance.


Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic earns her first Wimbledon title, and her frist Grand Slam title, in her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic earns her first Wimbledon title, and her frist Grand Slam title, in her first Grand Slam final appearance.

Petra Kvitova, the breakthrough Wimbledon titlist from the Czech Republic, sure looked like a natural in beating Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-3, 6-4 in Saturday's final, blending poise and power for her first Grand Slam title.

The eighth-seeded Kvitova bludgeoned the ball from the backcourt, pounced on returns and hit body blows with her lefty serve in the 85-minute contest. She unleashed her one and only ace on match point.

Quote:
"She's like the first-strike tennis queen," said Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "She hits the ball harder than anyone I've ever seen."
It's easy to forget that Kvitova, 21, lost her first four WTA matches on grass and was winless before her surprising run to last year's semifinals, where she lost to eventual winner Serena Williams.

Was she a quick study? Or was she built for the surface?

Martina Navratilova says when grass was slicker and bounces more irregular, instinct played a bigger role in determining success. But the nine-time Wimbledon singles winner said skills could also be cultivated.

"It's both," said the Czech-born American, who won the last of her titles in 1990 - the year Kvitova was born. "I think the best athletes come through more because they're able to adapt to the bad bounce, to awkward shots, to playing an all around game more than the baseliners. I mean, it's more instinctual in that you don't have as many choices on grass. It's key not to overthink it too much and play by instinct, so maybe you're right. In a roundabout way, it comes to that."

To be sure, power tennis pays off at Wimbledon. Kvitova smacked 19 winners to Sharapova's 10, and committed just one more unforced error (13-12).

"Grass has always rewarded big hitting," says Fernandez, who also comments for ESPN. "That's why the Williams sisters have dominated for so long. (Kvitova) hits hard, flat, stays low, and has the lefty factor to swing opponents wide or hit serves into the body."

Quote:
In some ways, Kvitova is a Johnny-come-lately.

Most of today's pros are swatting balls for hours well before their 12th birthday under the watchful eyes of eager parents or at tennis academies. Kvitova, who idolized Navratilova, trained until 16 at her small Czech town of 6,000 residents, which had four tennis courts.

She was coached by her non-tennis-playing father and hit with her brothers, usually for only an hour or two after school.
Encouraged by the head of the prestigious tennis club at Prostejov, Kvitova began driving to the center where other top Czech players such as 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych and top-25 player Lucie Safarova developed their games.

The 6-1 player progressed quickly — so quickly she sounded shocked that she had become the third Czech woman after Navratilova and Jana Novotna to own the Venus Rosewater dish five years after taking up the sport in earnest.

"I didn't think that I can win Wimbledon (so soon)," she told a small group of reporters a few hours after her win.

Still, she knew there was something on the lawns of London that suited her game.

She won her first tournament on grass — an International Tennis Federation junior event at Roehampton in 2007 — and the next week reached the last 16 at Wimbledon's junior event.

"I remember when I was serving it was problem for the other players," said Kvitova, "and I played so fast."

Quote:
Her coach, David Kotyza, explained that Kvitova had the game for grass despite her early stumbles on the pro tour, including back-to-back first-round loses here in 2008-09.

He said Kvitova was young when she lost in 2008 and was coming off an ankle injury when she did the same in 2009.

"The capability was there," Kotyza said.
If she had the game to excel on grass from the get go, she was also a quick study. She proved that by backing up her semifinal showing at the All-England Club last year by reaching the final of the grass-court tune-up at Eastbourne this month.

Quote:
Kvitova, now 4-1 in finals this year, doesn't fear the big stage. She said Saturday she likes "big matches" and believed she could win Wimbledon.

Kotyza explained that when he started working with her three years ago her game was uneven, but her self-belief was rock solid.

"In mental, she was totally a champion," he said.
The Czech is likely also benefitting from another trend: the homogenization and slowing down of surfaces, which makes it easier for a one-style-fits-all game.

"I don't feel they are playing anymore a specific grass-court type of play," said 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, who like Kvitova won her maiden grass court title at Wimbledon.

When France's Mauresmo won, however, she did so by varying the spins and pace off her one-handed backhand and following her serve to the net.

"You see today, they stay back, they don't use slice," she said. "They play very much the same style."

Conchita Martinez, the crafty Spaniard who also varied tempo and spin and grew up on clay, agreed that both nature and nurture can come into play. She said she detested grass at first but kept an open mind.

"It's great if you have an instinct to play," said the 1994 Wimbledon winner. "Someone who hits the ball hard and flat is going to have a better time out there. But you can learn."

MORE: Kvitova conquers Sharapova in women's final
COLUMN: Kvitova emerges as newest big hitter
PHOTOS: The best images from the All England Club

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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 03:12 PM   #17
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

PS Guys:

Lindsay Davenport had said on her Twitter account after the final "Did you guys see Petra? Stunning. It was the first time I was able to see her in person. I can see why people compare her to me. She's definitely the best ball striker out there".

Interesting, since when Lindsay was asked about her during the French Open, she had said "I really don't know much about Petra Kvitova (despite the fact that Martina and Sam Smith of the BBC, two people she works with, both loved Petra at the time)". Lol.

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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #18
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Lindsay.
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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 05:44 PM   #19
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Great job on all the articles. Ha, guess Lindsay quickly formed an opinion after seeing Petra in person for the first time.
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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #20
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

PS:

US Fed Cup Captain and ESPN Analyst Mary Joe Fernandez, when covering the Wimby women finals, told a story about Petra Kvitova from 2009.

She said when she was Fed Cup captain and playing the Czech Republic a couple of years ago, the coach put in the lower ranked player. Fernandez thought that was odd in such a fierce competition, and after the tournament she went to the coach and asked, "why'd you put that young lady in?". Fernandez said the coach replied "That girl, will be our best Player, She's got a great future".

Fernandez ended by saying "so they knew even back then, as Petra Kvitova shows us today, by being in the Wimbledon final".

True story. If you're in America, you can catch it (the final) on ESPN 3, along with her other 6 Wimby matches.

Mary Jo made the comment at 23.30 running time in the final.

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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #21
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
PS:

US Fed Cup Captain and ESPN Analyst Mary Joe Fernandez, when covering the Wimby women finals, told a story about Petra Kvitova from several years ago.

She said when she was Fed Cup captain and playing the Czech Republic several years ago, the coach put in a unranked/unknown player. Fernandez thought that was odd in such a fierce competition, and after the tournament she went to the coach and asked, "why'd you put that young lady in?". Fernandez said the coach replied "That girl, will be our best Player, She's our future".

Fernandez ended by saying "so they knew even back then, as Petra Kvitova shows us today, by winning Wimbledon".

True story. If you're in America, you can catch it (the final) on ESPN 3, along with her other 6 Wimby matches.
that should be 09 Fed cup and actually Petra injured her ankle before that round with US, and she lost to her 1st round rival in 11 Wimby Alexa Glatch in straight sets
Later, she withdrew from French Open that year



BTW, did MJF told that story in the pregame show or postgame show? I would like to check that analysis
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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 06:55 PM   #22
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Hey Reyeszjj

Thanks for the comments and pic.

I'm not sure if she over dramatized her story, she watched another match-then asked or if she got the dates mixed up (since Petra got hurt in 2009 b4 playing the US), then lost to Glatch another year. But she did say that.

To your question, she actually said it during the broadcast, at the 23.30 second mark (23 min, 30 secs).

Enjoy the match.

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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 09:18 PM   #23
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

I thought everyone on Tennis Forum who watched Kvitty's Wimby matches streamed online (since they weren't on TV until the semi-final & final), who knew they were seeing something/someone special, could appreciate this well written article. It takes you back a little doesn't it?

Kvitova - the champion who stole in under the radar
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Photo Titled Kvitova serves up a victory
Kvitova serves up a victory
© AELTC/M.Hangst
Kvitova & Sharapova
© AELTC/T.Hindley
by Kate Battersby

If ever there was a Wimbledon champion who stole in under the radar, it has to be Petra Kvitova. Yet anyone who watched her in the first week here knew that her run to the semi-finals last year had not happened by accident. Nonetheless, on the first day of the Fortnight here, how many fans in a thousand would have named her as their outright favourite for the title? In truth, how many fans in a thousand could have named her at all?


But once seen, once noticed, only the very foolish ignored Kvitova's chances this Wimbledon. Those early rounds made it utterly plain she had the game to win here. Let the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova hog the headlines, that was fine with Kvitova. She just kept going through the first four rounds, shedding few games along the way.


The questions arose in her quarter-final against Tsvetana Pironkova and her semi against Victoria Azarenka - each victory delayed by a hesitant second set where somehow her killer instincts drifted away. She herself had no doubt what the problem was - in each case, she became aware of the prize drawing near, and faltered.


By contrast, Maria Sharapova motored all the way to the final without the loss of a set. And, of course, at the mighty age of 24, she had played in four previous Slam finals and won three of them. Such experience is not essential, but it can hardly be a handicap.


So the question today was how Kvitova would respond to the scale of the occasion. There is a fine line between the innocence, which can allow the greenest competitor to sail through the sternest test, and inexperience, where a young mind is overwhelmed on the vast stage and is completely bewildered.


Sharapova, on the other hand, brought the wisdom of all her 24 years. She knew that time and chances are finite, and that there are never enough championship wins to go round all the players who are capable of winning on talent alone.


In the event, 21-year-old Kvitova found herself at the perfect point of balance somewhere between these two. By all means she tightened up in the second set and, in Sharapova, she was facing a cast-iron competitor whose tenacity and will to win could prise open any weak spot in the Czech's mental game. But today there was none to be found. There were moments in the second set when the match might have turned in the 2004 champion's favour, but Kvitova did not allow it to happen.


She was helped by Sharapova's weakened serve. It gave away fewer double faults than in previous rounds, but always when they came, they seemed to contribute to some crucial moment of haemorrhage - as when she delivered two in succession for the critical break in the first set.


Likewise with her groundstrokes, she was always playing for the lines - spectacular when the shots came off, but constantly risking error. It isn't in Sharapova's game to hold back at such moments. Hence she won just 14% of her second service points. Disastrous. She tried taking the maximum possible time between points for her trademark re-focus but nothing worked. Kvitova was too cool. For the Czech, one mistake did not lead to another.


The biggest test was early in the second set when the two were trading breaks. Kvitova should have put the ball away to secure a key point, but instead sent it right back to Sharapova who lobbed the Czech perfectly. Kvitova could have been crushed by the twin factors of her own misjudgement and the Russian's brilliance, and allowed her back in the match. A little later, she had the easiest forehand at the net for game point, but sent it out to surrender break point. Sharapova capitalised with a killer return to break. It could have played havoc with Kvitova's mindset. But it didn't. Each time, she set the point aside as a lesson learned and approached the next one afresh. She kept bouncing back, repeating the methodical formula all the way to victory.


At the last changeover, Kvitova was out of her chair and on her way to the baseline long before she needed. Some falter at the biggest moments, unable to serve out the match. Not she. Kvitova was eager to meet her destiny. She had three Championship points at her disposal when she opted to deliver her very first ace of the final.


Some fans may not have known the name Petra Kvitova at the start of this Wimbledon, but they do now. And they'll be hearing the name for a long time yet.

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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #24
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Another Well written, informative, personal, incisive, excellent reflection and analysis.

Peter Bodo, Tennis.com Contact RSS Categories Archive
The Company She Keeps 07/02/2011 - 2:28 PM

Petra

LONDON—Some of them arrived more than two weeks ago, to do duty as broadcasters or coaches; others drifted in over the course of the last two weeks, always welcome at Wimbledon, where any former singles quarterfinalist enjoys the privileges of membership in the Last 8 Club.

By the time the women's finalists were determined they were here in force, and present today in the Royal Box. Jan Kodes and Jana Novotna, Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova, all came to witness—they hoped—the coronation of a new Wimbledon champion to carry on the distinguished tradition of their small nation, the Czech Republic.

As Martina Navratilova said the other day, "I got to thinking now with (Petra) Kvitova the final, a potential winner, she would be the third lefty Czech to win this, with (me) and (Jaroslav) Drobny. Really, if you think about the Czech Republic and Slovakia—Hingis came from there originally—(Ivan) Lendl, myself, Kodes won here in '73. . . It's astonishing. And Berdych was in the finals last year. . . Hana Mandlikova. So many great players came out of a very little country, consistently."

You can now add the name of an extremely shy 21-year-old from the village of Fulnek (population 6,000, plus four tennis courts) to that list of champions, for Petra Kvitova won her first Grand Slam title today, and she did it on the strength of a convincing and not entirely meat-and-potatoes game driven by a superior serve and extreme baseline power.

In the run up to the match, most pundits predicted that most of the friction would be between Kvitova's swerving, biting left-handed serve—a serve that even the icon Navratilova, a nine-time Wimbledon champ, could only have wished to possess—and Sharapova's return. As it turned out, though, the outstanding feature of the final was the way Kvitova won the battle of the baseline, consistently getting the better of Sharapova in the rallies no matter who was serving.

As Sharapova put it after absorbing the 6-3, 6-4 loss, "She was hitting really powerful and hitting, you know, winners from all over the court. She made a defensive shot into an offensive one. And, yeah, you know, just kind of laid on a lot of those shots. I think she was just more aggressive than I was, hit deeper and harder, and got the advantage in the points."

It was an accurate and unflinching summary, but the problem with someone like Kvitova, who's a big young lady (6' 1") with a conspicuous weapon in that left-handed serve, is that it's awful easy to overlook the nuances and subtleties that sometimes play an even much larger role in a match than obvious themes. Take that serve: Kvitova's fastest was the same as Sharapova's, 113 mph, and their average first- and second-serve speeds were identical as well (100 mph and 92 mph, respectively). If Kvitova's serve was a cut above, it was for reasons other than its pace.

Granted, Sharapova hurt her own cause with double faults, particularly in the first set, in which she yielded the break that put Kvitova up for good, 4-2, with back-to-back doubles. But one of the main reasons Kvitova was able to transition from defense to offense and take the initiative—and dictate—in so many rallies was because she did a great job handcuffing Sharapova with serves to the body. I had expected her to rely more heavily on conventional, southpaw stuff—the wide serve and the heavy slice, especially in the ad-court, where a lefthander has such an enormous advantage.

Petra2 But that wide-swinging slice goes to the backhand of a right-hander like Sharapova. Not only is her backhand more reliable than her forehand, but the wider the slice, the more angle it gives Sharapova to nail a down-the-line backhand return winner.

Not too many people win matches against great lefthanders by tagging backhand service-return winners down the line, but by serving down the T so often, and keeping the ball close to Sharapova's body, Kvitova more or less forced Sharapova to keep the returns well within the lines—and we saw how expertly Kvitova dealt with rally balls.

"I knew that I have to be first who is playing hard and who is made the points," Kvitova explained, doing her best in a foreign tongue. "So I tried. It was about the serve, for sure, and the return. I know that she's return very well, but I know that I can return her serve also. . .So I was preparing for the fast play, like with Azarenka."

An attempt to get her to reveal a bit more about her serving strategy was frustrating. I'm not sure if she was incapable of understanding, or merely cagey about, the issue. But when asked if she went to the body quite a bit with the serve, she just smiled and said, "Well, yeah. It's could be."

These X's and Os are fun to chew over, but they only tell—at best—half the story in any match. There's also the mental side of the game, and the matter of how players react to the stresses inherent in a big occasion like a Wimbledon final. On that score also, Kvitova's reactions were impressive—surprisingly so. Although she made that critical break in the first set hold up and broke Sharapova in the first game of the second set, her own inability to hold in the second set all but invited Sharapova, with her greater store of Grand Slam experience, to work her way back into contention. But Kvitova showed real championship mettle, especially when the set seemed about to slip away, after she was broken for 3-3.

In that game, Kvitova made two gruesome errors—one was a thoughtless, cross-court backhand error off a lousy service return that made the score 30-all instead of a comfortable 40-15; the other was a botched cross-court forehand blast off another poor backhand return by Sharapova—a mistake that gave Sharapova a break point, which she secured with a forehand service return winner. You give a blooded Grand Slam final veteran veteran like Sharapova those kinds of breaks and you're apt to find yourself in deep trouble.

Had Kvitova crumbled at that point, those errors would have assumed a magnified significance to haunt Kvitova for a long, long time. Instead, she blanked out any lingering regrets and broke right back. She then made great use of spin and placement to get the critical hold for 5-3. When Sharapova raced through her next service game, you know it was only because Kvitova wanted the ball—she wanted to get on with it, and serve out the match.

Kvitova told us after the match that she read on the Internet that the officials in her small town of Fulnek had set up a big-screen television in the town square, so everyone could gather to watch the Wimbledon match. I doubt it was hard to get the town fathers to check off on the plan, given that Kvitova's father, Jiri, is the deputy mayor. Presumably, the pilsner is flowing freely and Fulnekians are still dancing in the streets as you read this.

The other day, when Kvitova was asked if we had reason to know the name of anyone else from Fulnek, she shrugged and said no. Now, Fulnek is the home of the newest Wimbledon champion. But there's nothing new about that for many a town in a nation that, acre-for-acre, may be the best tennis factory on earth.

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Old Jul 6th, 2011, 12:55 AM   #25
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Hey Reyeszjj

Not sure if you had came back and looked again earlier (originally I said I don't know), but (if you did) Mary Joe made that comment/told that story at the 23.30 second mark. Hope that helps.

Enjoy! 23 min, 30 sec mark.
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Old Jul 6th, 2011, 01:55 AM   #26
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
Hey Reyeszjj

Not sure if you had came back and looked again earlier (originally I said I don't know), but (if you did) Mary Joe made that comment/told that story at the 23.30 second mark. Hope that helps.

Enjoy! 23 min, 30 sec mark.
Thanks!
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Old Jul 6th, 2011, 03:19 AM   #27
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Petra is getting the notoriety that she absolutely deserves.
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Old Jul 6th, 2011, 03:50 AM   #28
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

Comprehensive article, detailing her background and early ITF career up to the day of the Wimby final, with some references to Lindsay Davenport and Petra's potential future thrown in.

Petra Kvitova: The ‘good girl next door’ aims for the stars
Saturday, 02 July 2011 00:00 By Ayo Ositelu Sport - Abroad
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PETRA-

But faces the ultimate challenge in the “red hot” Sharapova in today’s final

HER mannerisms on court, added to a towering figure, reminds one of American tennis legend, former world number one and 1999 Wimbledon Ladies Singles champion, Lindsay Davenport, and in the same vein the Netherlands’ Betty stove, the Ladies Singles runner-up (to Great Britain’s Virginia Wade) at the 1977 Centenary anniversary of the world’s biggest and most prestigious tennis tournament.

If you are busy making comparisons between 21 year-old Petra Kvitova and the aforementioned greats, you are on the right course, as there are numerous aspects of her game which bring back memories of two of the biggest servers and hitters in the rich history of the sport. Kvitova, who like both greats is making an appearance in the Wimbledon final, even reminds tennis historians and researchers of their major weak point, which is mobility about court. Like Davenport and Stove, even though Kvitova covers a lot of ground with their long limbs, her ability to speedily change direction or chase well-implemented drop shots has been observed by many as the most vulnerable aspect of her game.

For the “mathematicals” outthere, (apologies to my dear ‘brother’ Segun Odegbami, who in his hey deys was nicknamed ‘mathematical’ by legendary broadcaster and sports commentator, late Ernest Okonkwo) who are already taking exception to Wimbledon organiser’s arithmetical error in calling this year’s edition its 125th anniversary tournament,. the truth is that Wimbledon did not hold during the first and second world wars. Hence this year’s tournament represents the 125th, and not the 137th edition. Not even Odegbami can ‘dribble’ past that fact.

To be sure, Kvitova is not exactly a household name, at least not yet. But she has lately gained attention of habitual tennis observers in the last couple of years, especially for her repeat berth in the semi-final of Wimbledon, after also reaching in the last four last year, losing at that stage to eventual champion, Serena Williams of the United States. Many are now saying that if last year’s semi-final berth was a fluke, a second consecutive one is gradually becoming a habit.

By reaching the final this time around, and at the expense of world number four ranked player Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, whom she outclassed 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, Kvitova, a leftie, not only became the first left handed player to reach the final since Martina Navratilova featured in her last final in 1994, she also became the first Czech to berth in the final since Jana Novtna in 1998. Novratilova at the time has changed nationality to become an American.

But who is this “new kid on the block” from a country which has produced the likes of former world number one Ivan Lendl, another former world number one. Navratilova, and genuine champions Jana Novotna, Miroslav Mecir, Jan Kodes etc.? who is this girl whom neighbours back home in Gilovec, Czech Republic (where she was born twenty one years ago) still describe as “the good girl next door” because of her simplicity, humility and respectful disposition to everyone in spite of her career blossoming and dominating the headline?

Born in Golovec on March 8, 190, Kvitova, who had not shown signs of being very tall in the early years, but had surprised even her family by shooting towards six feet in her early years, was not exactly a [whiz kid” by today’s standards, as she started playing professionally only five years ago, in 2006 in her home nation tournament at Prostejov, where she won the qualifying tournament but lost in the first round. She then won two ITF tournaments in siege in Hungary, and Valasske Mezirici in the Czech Republic, defeating Dorottya Magas, and Radana Holusova in the finals.

Coached and managed by her father, Jiri from the beginning till now, it has been a gradual development for Kvitova, whose short career has been one of ups and downs, in equal measure. In 2007, she won four ITF (International Tennis Federation ) events in Stuttgart, Germany, and reached two other finals in Zlin, Czech Republic, losing to established pros, Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 6-1, and in Bratislava, in the Slovak Republic, lost to Tatjana Malek 6-2, 7-6 (7). It was in this same year, she played her first Grand Slam Qualifying draw at the 2007 ECM Prague Open, and her first Grand Slam Qualifying draw in the 2007 US Open, losing in the second round in both, but also earned her first win over a top 100 player, Pauline Parmentier.

In 2008, Kvitova qualified for her first WTA Tour main draw in the 2008 Gaz de France Open, where she upset the world number 30, Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-2, 6-3, thus earning her first win over a top 50 player, before losing to the now retired Elena Dementieva of Russia in the second round.

At the 2008 Cellular South Cup, as a qualifier, Kvitova earned one of the biggest wins of her career by upsetting former world number one Venus Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, thus earning her first victory over a top 10 player, before losing in the following round. To underscore her inconsistency, she lost in the first rounds of the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open at Indian Wells, California, and the ECM Prague Open, and in the second round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

At the 2008 French Open, playing in her first-ever Grand Slam tournament, she defeated Akiko Morigami of Japan in the first round, Samantha Stosur of Australia in the second, and 12th seeded Agnes Szavay of Hungary in the third, before losing to Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the fourth round. She then lost in the first round of Wimbledon 2008 and the 2008 US Open. But in between those two Grand Slam events she was able to reach her first WTA Tour quarter-finals in the 2008 Buda pest Grand Prix, losing to Andreja Klepac 7-6 (2), 6-0.

When, still as a qualifier, she reached the quarter-finals of the 2008 Zurich Open, losing to then world number one Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, it was the first time she was ranked inside the top 50. She ended the year by winning in Monzon, Spain, defeating Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer in the final.

After beginning 2009 with a first round loss at the Brisbane International, she however won her first career title at the highest level, defeating Alona Bondarenko, Anastasia Pavlychenkova, Virginia Razzano and Iveta Benesova along the way. In a year in which she was dogged by injuries and had to withdraw from the French Open, and lost in the first round of Wimbledon, only to come back strong to defeat then world number one Dinara Safina of Russia in three sets 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the third round at the US Open. Then ranked world number 72, Kvitova was 71 places lower than Safina at the time. She then reached her second final in the year at the Generali ladies, in Linz where she defeated Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-4, 5th seeded Iveta Benesova 6-4, 7-5, 4th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-5, 6-4 in the quarter-final, 2nd seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2, before losing 6-3, 6-4 to Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer in the final.

It was the following year that she seemed to make it a habit to lose to the eventual champion in Tier-one WTA tournaments. At last year’s Australian Open, Kvitova lost to eventual champion Serena Williams. Also at the 2010 Cellular South Cup, she reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3. At Wimbledon, she defeated Sorana Cirstea in the first round, and then upset China’s 23rd Zheng Jie 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 14th seeded Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-0, before also upsetting 3rd seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Demark 6-2, 6-0 in the fourth round to advance to her first Grand Slam Quarter-final, where she beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6, 8-6 after saving five match points to rally back from two breaks in the third set (trailing 0-4) to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final, where again, she lost to world number one defending champion and eventual champon, Serena Williams. After that run, she made it to the top 30 in world rankings for the first time.

Kvitova gaining in confidence, began this year by winning her second career WTA tour title at the 2011 Brisbane International Open, by defeating Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-3 in the final, after having earned impressive wins over 3rd seed Nadia Petrova of Russia, and 5th seed Anastasia Pavlychenkova also of Russia. With that second title, she achieved a career-high world number 28 ranking.

After reaching and losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open, her strong run earned her the number 8 in world ranking, to become only the fourth Czech female to be ranked among the top 10. She then celebrated her new status by defeating newly-crowned Australian Open champion and world number one, Kim Clijsters 6-4, 6-3 to win her second career title.

Earlier this year, she also led her country’s Fed Cup team to the final round, with semi-final wins over Wickmayer and Flipkens, winnng all of her matches in the earlier rounds.

At the pre-Wimbledon WTA warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, Kvitova, who was seeded eighth, lost in the final to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli.

And so, it may not have surprised too many that Kvitova has gone all the way to tomorrow’s final, to face Russia’s former world number one and the 2004 Wimbledon champion, Maria Sharapova, who has literally been on fire throughout this tournament, having not conceded a single set.

Whatever happens in today’s final, it is sure that the tennis world will be seeing much more of this gifted clean-hitter of the ball. If even the Russian will go into the match as a heavy favourite to win, who says another upset cannot occur today?
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Old Jul 6th, 2011, 04:26 AM   #29
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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Originally Posted by Excelscior View Post
PS:

US Fed Cup Captain and ESPN Analyst Mary Joe Fernandez, when covering the Wimby women finals, told a story about Petra Kvitova from several years ago.

She said when she was Fed Cup captain and playing the Czech Republic a couple of years ago, the coach put in the lower ranked player. Fernandez thought that was odd in such a fierce competition, and after the tournament she went to the coach and asked, "why'd you put that young lady in?". Fernandez said the coach replied "That girl, will be our best Player, She's got a great future".

Fernandez ended by saying "so they knew even back then, as Petra Kvitova shows us today, by being in the Wimbledon championship".

True story. If you're in America, you can catch it (the final) on ESPN 3, along with her other 6 Wimby matches.

This was my first time seeing Petra and I was shocked how poorly she played. It's been great to see her grow into the player she is today.
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Old Jul 6th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #30
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Re: Petra Kvitova News and Articles

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Originally Posted by Solitaire View Post
This was my first time seeing Petra and I was shocked how poorly she played. It's been great to see her grow into the player she is today.
Mmmhh. Interesting.

She may of had a ankle injury also Solitaire. Though I'm not sure on the exact time (did it happen before or after you saw her), but they may had something to do with it as well? Lol

But, yeah; what development? Right? Lol.
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