It is just under a month since Petra Kvitova powered her way to her second Wimbledon singles title in such impressive fashion. She talks to Wimbledon.com about making sure she celebrated her remarkable triumph, but more importantly, what comes next.
The Flushing Meadows concrete tends to reward the bold, the driven and the self-assured. Petra Kvitova was all those things during her near-perfect performance on the Wimbledon grass against Eugenie Bouchard, and you suspect that this summer - unlike last time - the Czech isn't going to travel to New York City as the Wimbledon champion only to lose meekly in the first round
It was three summers ago that Kvitova became the first reigning Wimbledon champion to experience an opening-round defeat at the US Open. But Kvitova is an altogether more accomplished and self-confident young woman now than she was in 2011; second time around, it looks and sounds as though she is much better placed to deal with success at the All England Club. It doesn't sound as though winning Wimbledon, and everything that comes with that, is going to harm her ability to go deep into the New York fortnight. "We will see [whether I have learnt from 2011], but of course I would like to go further than the first round at the US Open this year," Kvitova told Wimbledon.com. "I have not had great results in New York so I will really try to improve that."
There are clear differences between Kvitova's Wimbledon triumph in 2011 - achieved with a victory over Maria Sharapova in the final - and her success this summer when she defeated Bouchard inside an hour for the loss of a mere three games. One is that, unlike three years ago, Kvitova celebrated her victory (drinking champagne in the dressing room, and then some more fizz back at the house she had rented). "I was determined to celebrate this time as I didn't celebrate in 2011," Kvitova said, "but by 10pm I was so exhausted that I had to go to bed.
But probably the most significant difference between her two Wimbledon titles is that she knows what is coming this time now, and that's why she shouldn't walk out on to compete at Flushing Meadows still frazzled by what she achieved an ocean away. "I think this time round I know what to expect," said Kvitova, who, outside of the Williams family, is the most successful grass-court player of this generation - it has to be imagined that she will add to the two replica Venus Rosewater Dishes in her parents' house in Fulnek, in the Czech Republic. "I know where the changes will come and how to handle them. I am more mature and I am also more professional and know that the expectations are part of the job. I am not saying it is going to be easy this time, but I hope that I am more ready."
Such was the level of Kvitova's tennis against Bouchard - she was hitting a winner every couple of minutes - she even surprised herself when she watched the match back on television the day after returning home. "I still can’t believe how well I played. I was definitely in the zone and was just focused right until the very last point," said Kvitova, and if she can replicate that Centre Court performance on the other side of the Atlantic, she will have every chance of winning her first slam outside south-west London. Already, Kvitova is thinking about the areas of her game that need improvement if she to have success in the future, whether back at the All England Club or anywhere else in tennis. "I think I need to keep working hard on my fitness, on the mental side of my game, and for sure serve like I did at Wimbledon. My serve was a big weapon for me during the whole tournament."
20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...
20:03"I already have seven. It's not like I need another one. But it would have been awfully nice to have it. I think that's what the feeling was of the people, and I felt that... I know they love tennis. They love tennis after we're all gone."View all