LONDON, June 20, 2012
Czech star Petra Kvitova says it was advice from her role model (tennis legend Martina Navratilova) that helped her to win Wimbledon last year.
Speaking in an interview with Laureus.com just days before this year’s Wimbledon, Kvitova said of Navratilova: “She is a very nice person to me and I had a good chat with her at Wimbledon. She had some advice for me. She has a lot of experience in her career and she is very smart.”
When asked what Navratilova had said to her, Kvitova just smiled and said: “It’s a secret. I’m not going to tell anyone.”
And Laureus World Sports Academy Member Martina Navratilova is keeping the secret too. Asked if she had given Kvitova advice about her tennis and how to win Wimbledon, she said: “Sure, sure, 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. 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?”
Martina, also originally from the Czech Republic, was asked if she felt Kvitova could win Wimbledon again this year. She said: “Petra 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.
“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 makes you feel more like a defending champion than any other tournament. That is how I felt and it really makes you feel good about yourself. So that should help.
“I would still like to see her more aggressive. For Petra it is always a matter of missing or making the shots. If she makes them she could on a given day beat anybody. 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.”
Kvitova says in her interview: “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. After Wimbledon last year, I was very big in the Czech Republic and I was not prepared for it and a lot of people recognised me in the street. It was very strange for me, but I think that it is a good part of the tennis life.”
Can she win Wimbledon again? Kvitova said: “I think it is very tough to say that I believe I can win Wimbledon. I have a good game, but I think that a lot of players can also play very well on the grass, so it is not easy to say. I hope that I win. Of course I would like to be a winner again, but it is not easy.”
She says she rates Martina Navratilova as the greatest modern women’s tennis player. “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.”