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Interview with Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova ahead of French Open - Edited Transcript

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Interview with Wimbledon Champion PETRA KVITOVA
ahead of French Open - Edited Transcript
 
Material on the Laureus website is available for print media use free of charge provided full credit is given, for example…. ‘Petra Kvitova speaking to Laureus.com’
 
Question
You won the Madrid Open in 2011, which you have just played in again. Is this of value for the French Open?
 
Petra Kvitova
Everybody was surprised that I won [in 2011] and it was my [first] big tournament.  It was very nice to play here [again] and have a good result and I think I learned that I can play on the clay too.
 
Question
Do you think you have the game to win all the Grand Slams at some point in your career? 
 
Petra Kvitova
I think from last year that I can play on all surfaces and I won here on the clay, Wimbledon and I won on hard court as well, so I think that I have a game to play very well on different surfaces, but it depends how the other girls play and how I am feeling and if I have an injury or something.  So it depends.
 
Question
One of your great assets is your fantastic serve. Do you try to make it even better?
 
Petra Kvitova
When I practise with my father at home, I try to have a good left serve, but I play more flat.   When I [work with] my coach, we try to improve the left spin to make a better serve. I am still thinking about more spin and more cross serve percentage.
 
Question
What are your goals for 2012?
 
Petra Kvitova
For me, it is easy to have a goal, because I have small goals and it means that I want to improve every part of my game, techniques and the mentality and the fitness side and after this I can have a good result and then we will see where I will be on the rankings.
I am really looking forward to the Olympics and I played Beijing, unfortunately, only doubles, so I am looking forward to having good matches on the grass.
I love to play for my country, so I will try my best and hopefully it will be nice and we will see where I will be in the draw.  I am playing mixed with a very good doubles specialist, so we will see.
 
Question
Who are the players who will be with you for the next few years at the top of tennis?
 
Petra Kvitova
I think Vika [Victoria Azarenka] started very well this season and she played very well.  She is more constant than before and Maria Sharapova is playing very well.  She won some tournament again and I think that those two players will be in the top for a long time.
 
Question
Over the last few years there have been a lot of new players coming to the top of the rankings?
 
Petra Kvitova
Yes.  I think it is good that so many new players are coming in and play the tennis very well.  I think for the fans it is nice to see new faces that are playing very well.  So hopefully it is very positive.
 
Question
Did you ever think at the start of 2011 that you might win Wimbledon?
 
Petra Kvitova
No, never.  I did not think that I could win Wimbledon and it was a dream and an incredible feeling for me.  It was first the Grand Slam and then Wimbledon.
 
Question
What are your memories of the final?
 
Petra Kvitova
I remember the final very well and sometimes, when I have time, I watch it again on YouTube - to see if I played very well and played aggressively. 
 
Question
What was your view of Wimbledon before you won it?
 
Petra Kvitova
Wimbledon is always something special for me and I think it is because of the grass, playing in the white clothes and you feel the history when you are on Centre Court.  It is something special and I always feel it.
 
Question
It must have given you more confidence for the rest of the year. Did you change as a person and as a tennis player after Wimbledon?
 
Petra Kvitova
I thought that after Wimbledon I did not really change as a person, but I changed [as a tennis player] a little because after Wimbledon I did not have a very good result in the US Open, but I played well indoors. We won the Federation Cup and I won the WTA Championships.  It was a great result for me and Wimbledon gave me new experiences and good confidence.
 
Question
Was winning the Federation Cup special as you were playing for your country?
 
Petra Kvitova
Yes.  I really like to play for the Fed Cup and it is something different to playing in the tournaments and we are there as a team and we have a very good team, there are lots of friends and with the girls it is always fun and I really enjoy every Fed Cup I play.
 
Question
One of the results of your brilliant year is that you were nominated for the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award.  How important was that?
 
Petra Kvitova
Yes, of course it was very nice when I knew that I was nominated in the Laureus Award.  It was a very nice evening when I was there and, unfortunately, I did not win, but it was very nice for me and a good experience.
 
Question
Looking back, what age were you when you began to play tennis?
 
Petra Kvitova
Maybe the first time I picked up a racket I was four or five and I practised with my father and he was the coach for my two brothers.  I was on the tennis courts every day and I played with the clay, so I was always orange.  I had nice memories when I started to play tennis.
 
Question
Did you play with your brothers a lot? Did you always beat them?  Did they beat you?
 
Petra Kvitova
They are older, so they beat me a lot, but unfortunately I did not practise a lot with them because there are many years between us and they were older than me so they did not want to play.
 
Question
Was there ever a moment when you were a child when you said “I can win Wimbledon”, or did you ever think at that early age that you could be a great tennis player?
 
Petra Kvitova
No, never.  I did not think that I could be a professional tennis player when I played tennis because my father wanted me to have some hobby or play something because he wanted me to have something to do at school with sport.  So I only played for fun and look where I am now.