Petra Kvitova’s opening match at this year’s Championships pretty much sums up her season. The 2011 Wimbledon champion had to endure quite a rollercoaster ride on Court 2 before battling through against Coco Vandeweghe in three sets.
Kvitova’s 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory was the eighth time in her last 10 matches that she has been taken to three sets. It is not quite the form you would expect of the world No.8 but Kvitova was glad just to get through her first match at the All England Club.
“My season is up and down, I know it,” she said. “Today I had chances which I didn’t take and it wasn’t for the first time this season. But also I know I can fight till the end and win, so it’s important to me to know that I can do it. It doesn’t matter that it is in two or three sets, the victory is important.”
Playing against the world No.108 in her opening match was expected to provide a comfortable start to the Championships for Kvitova and that is how it looked in the early stages as she raced to the opening set in just 24 minutes.
All appeared well until the Czech served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Two double faults did not help her cause and she was broken. Ten minutes later, Kvitova had lost the set and was heading off-court for medical treatment on the area around her hip.
Kvitova said: “I slipped two times in the first set quite badly and then suddenly I felt my muscle was cramping around the hip every time I stepped on my leg, so it wasn’t very easy to serve when I have to jump and land on the leg.”
Although Kvitova faced a couple of tricky moments early in the third set, she broke for 3-1 as Vandeweghe put a drop-shot wide.
Kvitova had two match points at 5-3, 15-40 on the serve of Vandeweghe and thought she had won the match when the American hit a shot which was called long. Vandeweghe correctly challenged and went on to save both match points, although Kvitova held her nerve to serve the match out in the next game.
Kvitova now faces Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, the world No.55 and 2010 Wimbledon doubles champion, in the second round, having beaten her last year in a three-set French Open quarter-final.
“I remember it was a difficult match for me and she served quite well so it was good practice today,” said Kvitova. “She plays very aggressively, she won doubles here, so she can be very dangerous on the grass.”
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
20:19It was the wackiest of Wimbledons with the most unlikely of headline-makers: Sergiy Stakhovsky, Steve Darcis, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Kimiko-Date Krumm, Jerzy Janowicz, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli...View all