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Petra Kvitova and Martina Navratilova interview - Edited transcript

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June 18, 2012
 
Material on the Laureus website is available for print media use free of charge provided full credit is given, for example….’Martina Navratilova speaking to Laureus.com’
 
Question to Martina:
When did you first meet Petra Kvitova? 
 
Martina Navratilova:
We would just say hello [from time to time], but I remember seeing her play at the French Open a few years ago and she won a couple of rounds and I thought, boy, if this girl gets it together she is going to be a player, because she had big, big shots already.  It was just a matter of getting a little bit quicker and fitter. She has done all of that.  She is still inconsistent, but she is 22, when I think about where I was when I was 22, she is miles ahead.  So she is a great talent and she wants it badly and she has got a great head on her shoulders and I think the sky is the limit. 
 
Question to Martina:
Petra said she sees you as a role model, but your games are not similar?
 
Martina Navratilova:
It is nice for me that Petra Kvitova sees me as a hero and role model.
Well, nobody plays the way I played really, but then nobody can any more because the game is too powerful.  I could not serve volleys as much now, as I did then. I could not play the same way.  I would have to work my way to the net, but I would still go forward, I think, more than anybody else. But the game has changed a lot.
She does play an attacking game. She is very forceful from the base line of course, and when there is an opportunity to come to the net she comes to the net more than Maria Sharapova or even Serena Williams.  She looks to come to the net. 
I would still like to see her more aggressive, with a nice slice and she could take advantage of it, particularly on the grass, and she is tall, so she has got a big wingspan and it is hard to get a ball by her.  She is very imposing and she has got a very good volley.  So I would like to see her get a little more Martina, if you will. 
 
Question to Petra:
You have said Martina is your role model. Would you also say she was the greatest modern women’s tennis player?
 
Petra Kvitova:
Yes, I think so.  I try to play fast and aggressive like her and she had a great serve, so I am trying to have a good serve too.  She played very aggressively on the grass, serve-volley.  I know that it is maybe the key to playing on grass.
 
Question to Martina:
Did you believe at the start of 2011 that Petra could have won Wimbledon?  
 
Martina Navratilova:
Well I thought it was possible.  Again if she got her game together, she had all the prerequisites, the serve, a big serve, big shots on both wings, she moved well enough for the grass, and a nice slice.  For Petra it is always a matter of missing or making the shots, because she goes for a lot early on and if she is making them, great, then on a given day she can beat anybody.
 
Question to Petra:
Did Martina talk to you about Wimbledon?
 
Petra Kvitova:
She is a very nice person to me and I had a good chat with her at Wimbledon.
 
Question to Petra:
What did she say to you?
 
Petra Kvitova:
She had some advice for me.  She has a lot of experience in her career and she is very smart.
 
Question to Petra:
Can I ask what kind of things she said?
 
Petra Kvitova:
No.
 
Question to Petra:
It is a secret?
 
Petra Kvitova:
Yes.
 
Question to Petra:
You are not going to tell anyone?
 
Petra Kvitova:
No. 
 
Question to Martina:
Petra said that she had a conversation with you at Wimbledon and you gave her some advice about playing the game and about how to win Wimbledon, do you remember that moment? 
 
Martina Navratilova:
Sure, sure, I mean I came to her before the final and said a few things. I think coming from somebody that has been there makes a big difference, that is why I think when top players go to coaches they have an extra thing to offer that others do not have because they have been there.  So you can talk all you want about psychology, but if you have not felt it yourself, how do you really know what is going on? 
 
Question to Martina:
How can Petra improve?
 
Martina Navratilova:
If she can get the consistency a little more under control, then she can win anywhere.  She can on clay, she can win on grass, but grass would be the best surface for her. 
Petra should feel great about being the defending champion at Wimbledon this year. It gives you a little extra power and confidence when you are the defending champion.  It is a good kind of pressure that you feel there because Wimbledon make you feel more like a defending champion than any other tournament, to me, that is how I felt, and it really makes you feel good about yourself.  So that should help.