Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Petra Kvitova in first-round women's singles action at the 2022 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. In 2019 you were so close to getting the Dubai championship title. Right now you’re into the quarterfinals. How does it feel? What do you make of your form right now?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, I mean, that’s my first quarterfinal of the year, so definitely I’m happy with that.
I have to take it very slowly. I didn’t play my best. I’m really happy for those two matches. Everything I’m taking like a bonus for right now. I’m really looking forward.
It was amazing atmosphere today. I didn’t play a long time arena, so it was nice to be competing again. It was big fight from both sides. Yeah, I think it was pretty solid game today.
Q. Can you give us an idea of how good it is to have fans back. How much energy does that give you?
PETRA KVITOVA: It’s amazing. I have to say I really miss them. It doesn’t matter where the in the world. I think tennis, it’s pretty enjoyable when you do have the atmosphere, you’re not playing without the people, like a practice. I mean, it’s pretty boring.
Definitely bringing atmosphere back, it’s something which we really wanted. Yeah, I think maybe some players like to play without the people, without the pressure, without this energy. But it’s not me. I’m for the people, for sure.
Q. You’re taking on Ostapenko. Any thoughts on that match?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, yeah, we played few times with Jelena. You never know what to expect. That’s pretty challenging as well every time I’m stepping on the court against her. I know it will be fast game. Definitely will be very aggressive from both sides. I’m really looking forward.
I think she’s in very good form. She played I think semifinals in St. Pete, and beating Iga today. Definitely will be nice one.
Q. You mentioned in Australia you had a few health issues. Can you talk a little bit about how it affected your buildup to the season.
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I started to feel it little bit before I was going to Australia. It was my wrist. It wasn’t that bad from the beginning, but after my first match in Adelaide, it got just swollen. In the end it was inflammation which took me a little while to heal it after coming back from Australia.
Whole month I actually just play only matches. Yeah, it was a bit tough for me mentally, physically, everything. I probably expect something more from me, of course, as always. It just didn’t happen because I couldn’t play. It’s really tough.
Yeah, on the other hand I’m a player who doesn’t have to practice like crazy. Still if it’s hurting something, I can’t play shots, it’s different story. Yeah, I was pretty upset. But the health is always on the first side.
It gets better. And I prefer to play some matches instead of practice. That’s why I came to St. Pete. Yeah, I just have to take it slowly and not have the big expectations on me.
Q. You always set high standards for yourself. Is it difficult for you stepping on the court and not putting expectations on yourself?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it’s very tough. Actually I didn’t do that yet. I will try. I have to learn something more even in my 31, so yeah (smiling).
Definitely a lot of things to improve. Of course, whole my career was expectation over there and the pressure was over there. Of course, it’s still there. On the other hand I know I can play my best. It’s really tough to handle it and find a balance of it.
Q. Aryna has been open about her struggles on the serve this year. Anything like this ever happen to you where you lost confidence in a shot for a while?
PETRA KVITOVA: Many times. But I do remember I had a period of time when I couldn’t serve either. Yeah, it’s just coming.
I think it just happen like in one tournament that you play some matches, you just made some double-faults. Since then you just don’t believe it and trust in your serve.
I think me and Aryna, that’s something which we are always building up the game, on the serve. When we can’t really serve, it’s tough because you know you have to return well. So it’s another pressure always. And then playing well from the baseline.
It’s tough, I know. But she just double-fault in first set, then nothing, so… I was waiting, but nothing came (laughter).
Q. Is it tricky mentally knowing when you step on the court thinking she might not serve well? How difficult is it for you?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I knew that. On the other hand I know how she is strong from the baseline as well. When I saw her returning in the beginning of the first set, I was like, Okay, I mean, it doesn’t matter how she serve in the end, I just have to be focusing on my serve.
In the first game she played the three double-faults. On the other hand you lose some rhythm. It’s tougher to get back.
In the second set she was a break up, so it was really roller coaster today. Yeah, I mean, she is still strong player, no question.
Q. I saw you had a little bit of sniffling and coughing as well. Are you feeling okay?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I do feel fine. I don’t have a COVID, that’s for sure (smiling). Don’t worry.
Coughing was just probably I was eating bananas. Sometimes it’s just stuck in there. Runny nose I have whole year. Nothing new unfortunately.
Yeah, but it was a little bit windy, so maybe it’s coming from it. Overall it’s beautiful weather here in Dubai, so no problem otherwise.
Q. Does it make a difference to you if you’re seeded or not? Does it take pressure off of you when you’re not seeded?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, in this time, this match, I would say yes, the pressure was a little bit better. On the other hand I’m like, Oh my god, it’s the second round, I’m playing first seeded, it’s not good. I’m not getting used to.
But, yeah, it’s my ranking and I have to come back somehow. If I want to come back, I have to beat some seeded players. There’s no question about it either.
Yeah, I mean, it’s challenging because from the first round you have great players. But as we saw today, I mean, everything is possible. Of course, in women tennis, it’s pretty open. Maybe it will be better because I always play a little bit better against better ranking players. Maybe it could be good.
Q. What did you make of the way that Ash Barty won the Australian Open?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I was very happy for her. I was watching all matches of her. I was texting her as well.
I think it has to be so special on the home soil. Definitely she deserve it. I mean, she is a great player, great person. I think it’s just great that Aussies having a champion again.
Yeah, I mean, she really deserve it, so she has to enjoy it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
117031-1-1004 2022-02-16 16:29:00 GMT