Petra Kvitová already knows how it is with Wimbledon. “I either play very well here or very badly here. And today it was bad,” she said in London. However, the third outage in the first round in the last four years was eventually averted by the local two-time champion. “Probably just because of the fighting spirit,” she breathed.
London (from our newsletter) – Jasmine Paolini took the first round of her most beloved tournament. It was a friendly lot. The little Italian woman pays for an unpleasant clay filmmaker, but she has not yet won a single match at the grassy Wimbledon.
She shouldn’t have had the slightest chance against Kvitová.
Duel on court number 2, which in the past was the scene of several major disappointments for the Czech star, but raised eyebrows from the beginning as a sign of astonishment.
Paolini despaired the recent winner of the tournament in Eastbourne and won the first set clearly 6: 2. And Kvitová started creeping into her head: But no, it’s here again…
“But I always say that to myself, maybe every year. I was nervous about it, on the other hand, I had already experienced worse days here,” she explained after the match with a relaxed smile.
“The first rounds are always difficult here and the opponent doesn’t like the grass at all. I knew I had the game to beat it,” Kvitová explained her thoughts after losing the opening act.
But in her mind she had to shake her head at how Paolini was taking her.
“I prefer matches where it’s about who pushes whom. But Jasmine pushed me in some exchanges today, which is terrible,” Kvitová hid her head in her hands.
The 160-centimeter-tall Italian actually matched her strength by a 22-centimeter-tall rancher.
“And her backhand? I have to say, he was very disgusting. Flat, uncomfortable. I preferred to play her forehand. The service went through her, I groped.
She passed a difficult test. She turned and advanced 2: 6, 6: 4, 6: 2.
“Probably just because I just wanted to and somehow won it. My game was bad today. It ate me a lot during the match, the service didn’t write to me and as it blew, everything was even more difficult. I was stiff, it didn’t fly. I wasn’t not once on the net. Just nothing nice, “the 32-year-old tennis player spared no self-criticism.
The curse of the “two”, ie the court on which she fell in the second rounds of 2016 and 2017 and at the Olympics in 2012, perhaps has definitely broken. Three years ago, she advanced to the eighth finals and now she is rejoicing again.
“But those stupid memories still prevail. The way to the court and back also scares me. People are pushed in the alleys, everyone touches their shoulders. I have goosebumps, it’s not very pleasant,” Kvitová described the specifics of a distant court, which with players must get a challenging slalom among avid fans.
But Wimbledon can never disgust her.
“It’s completely different from other tournaments. It’s full everywhere, the atmosphere on the courts is just amazing. I’ve been looking forward to it and I’m still looking forward to it. Sometimes the pleasure turns into something I don’t like at all, but that’s the way it is and I I have to count here, “she said.
In the second round, she will be challenged by Ana Bogdanová. This will be the very first meeting of the two players, although the Romanian will also be in her thirties this year. Kvitová knows almost nothing about the 111th tennis player of the current ranking.
“Just the way he looks. And I think he’s playing aggressively, but that’s just my guess. Jirka (Jiří Vaněk, coach and partner of Kvitová, note aut.) I hope to prepare me somehow. Hopefully it will be easier than the first round. Although the latter are very similar to the former, “Kvitová warned herself.