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Petra Kvitova semi-final

Thursday 3 July 2014

Petra Kvitova speaks to the media following her 6-2, 6-2 victory over Lucie Safarova.

Q.  How difficult is it to play not only a friend but a girl that you know so well and is a lefty and has a more or less similar game like you have?

PETRA KVITOVA:  It is tough.  I knew that it's going to be very tough match against her.  She played I think her best tennis here all the tournament.  She really deserve to be in the semifinal.

She played great in the first set and was really close every point what we played.  From the beginning, both of us were very nervous, so it was difficult curve that.

But, yeah, we know each other well on the court, off the court.  Of course, when you are playing lefty on the grass it's more difficult than normally, I think.

We played in Eastbourne, so we know what we can expect from us.  Yeah, I'm just glad that I served well today.  I think it was maybe the key of the match then.

Q.  How would you describe your journey as a player since you were last in the final and your emotions on being back in a Wimbledon final?

PETRA KVITOVA:  Be honest, I'm not really remembering my emotion in 2011 only after the final.  What I should say about emotion right now, I was so happy when I beat Venus.  It was difficult match for me definitely.

Today, of course, to play Lucie on the Centre Court in the semifinal of Wimbledon, it's never easy.  I did everything what I could.  I mean, I was just very happy after that.

I mean, it's still one more to come.  I want to be focused on that now.

Q.  How about your journey from 2011 until now?  How would you describe those three years to being back at this point?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I think these three years was really up and down during the season.  I knew that a lot of people are expecting from me something more than I did probably.

But on the other side, I was still in the top 10 and I did everything what I could.  I was practicing very hard and everything.  But it's never easy with the girls obviously.

Yeah, was a lot of positive things I got, but definitely when I won here 2011 I needed to change a little bit myself on the court and off the court, as well, to used to the pressure, media, and everything like that.

Q.  The crowd seemed quite quiet today for Centre Court.  Did you find you were having to psych yourself up?  Would you expect that to be a little different in the final?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I'm not pretty sure.  I mean, if I'm playing, I'm just focusing on myself.  I didn't really hear anything from the crowd.

But maybe because we were both Czech, so probably it was tough to them.  I mean, I really didn't care about.

Q.  Tracy Austin said on the BBC commentary at the start of this tournament that perhaps you'd underachieved since winning here in 2011.  Do you feel like you've underachieved in those three years?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I hope so.  I'm back in the final and I'm feeling well.  I mean, it's really tough to say about, but definitely I'm already for a final and I'm going to try the best.

Q.  When you look at almost the Czech players going back over 50 years, they all peaked after 25.  You won Wimbledon very young.  Do you think that created expectations of you that you were not ready to handle at that time?

PETRA KVITOVA:  It's a good question actually.  I mean, I don't know really, but I played really well that year.  I won it quite young, how you said already.  It was difficult for me to handle it definitely.

But on the other side, I'm happy that happened.  I never change for something else, so I'm just glad for that.

I'm 24, so still under 25 (smiling).  You're going to see what going to happen on Saturday.

Q.  What is it about this tournament that seems to bring the best out of you?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I mean, I can describe really easily.  It's Wimbledon.  It's the best tournament in the world for me definitely.

I mean, this is what makes tennis special.

Q.  Is it more than the surface, though?

PETRA KVITOVA:  Definitely.

Q.  Did you come back as a different person?  You're more grown up, maybe more used to handle the pressure now.  Do you feel you're a different person?

PETRA KVITOVA:  Yes, definitely I need to change, as I already said.  I mean, it's difficult to still be with the pressure every time you step on the court against some opponent.  You are most of the time favorite of the match and it's really not easy.  It needs some time to used to, definitely.

I mean, that's something what I am living with right now.  I don't think it's can change.  It's part of my life right now, and that's it.

Q.  You said it was difficult to play a friend, but you've beaten Lucie six times out of six, so it's more difficult for her than for you.  What exactly is so difficult about playing a friend?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I don't know it was more difficult for her.  I mean, I was the favorite of the match, of course, and I just really wished to have a 6-All, and that's fun definitely.

I mean, it's tough.  Emotions are not really bringing out.  It's still a little bit more inside you.  You are finding inside.  I mean, that's something really special to me, to my friend, in the semifinal, Czech friend, of course.

I think it was really a great match.

Q.  How have you been able to stay the course after the Wimbledon win to now?   You haven't changed coaches.  You haven't moved to Monaco.  You haven't done a lot of things.  I'm sorry, you did move to Monaco.  You haven't done a lot of things that players have struggled after a big win might do.  Talk about that a little bit.

PETRA KVITOVA:  I mean, was really a point when everything change in my life after Wimbledon.  I didn't change my tennis coach.  I am still with David.  I changed some fitness coaches, obviously.  I'm working more on my mentally side, of course.  That's something what I think really I need, to work on the mentally.

When I'm still living with the pressure, that's what I really need to handle it.  Yeah, a lot of things change in my life.  I'm not any more too much private person.  Of course the media are interesting in everything, so that's not easy as well.

Yeah, I don't know what else actually.

Q.  You had obviously to withdraw at Eastbourne because of the injury.   You said it wasn't too serious.  It was to make sure you'd be right for Wimbledon.  But now at this point, are you pleased you made that decision to do that then?  Was there a point when you worried you might not be ready for this tournament?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I play Eastbourne first time against Lucie.  It was big fight.  Very long match.  Next day I start to feel the leg.  I play against Lepchenko.  I won it, but next day I woke up and I really couldn't walk without the pain.

It was something actually I didn't do it before, but I knew it's before the Wimbledon.  If I need to recovery I need some days off.  Actually, I hit for the first time little bit on Saturday very easily.  I had my first round on Monday.

So now I'm very pleased with my decision over there.

Q.  You said something about it being harder for girls to keep up this success.  Why do you think that is?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I don't know.  I think a lot of people are talking about us.  Like when you are watching men's, for example, there is break of serve it's nothing really special.  But in our game it is.

No, but I'm just really kidding little bit (smiling).

Q.  I remember your coach saying a long time ago he tried to get you out of tennis sometimes, to cinemas, to art galleries.  Does he still do that?  Is tennis slightly less important for you than other players?

PETRA KVITOVA:  Really?  He does it?

Q.  That's what was said a couple years ago.

PETRA KVITOVA:  He never went with me to the cinema (laughter).

I don't know.  In my off time of tennis, I'm doing my things.  I'm not really discussing with David what I'm doing.

On the court, of course he's boss there, but nothing in the off time.

Q.  Whoever you play in the final, you'll be favorite.

PETRA KVITOVA:  I going to be favorite, you said?  Oh.

Q.  On paper.  Are you happy with being favorite?  It's obviously a bit more pressure.  Do you feel the favorite?

PETRA KVITOVA:  No.  I mean, until this time probably I was favorite, if I'm not counting Venus, of all the matches.  I don't think it's any favorite of the final of Grand Slam.  It's always difficult to handle nerves, everything, the game.

The small things what really can help to some player.  But naturally I'm not feeling like favorite of the match.

Q.  Since we don't know yet who your opponent will be in the next match, I'd like to ask you about each one specifically so we're prepared to preview that match.  Starting with Eugenie Bouchard, how would you describe her style?

PETRA KVITOVA:  We played last year in Toronto, I think.  She was just coming up.  I find her as a very solid and talented player.  She really seems that she is confident in her game right now.  She's moving very well.  She's playing aggressively from nearby the baseline.

I think she's confident right now, same as Halep, of course.  Yeah, that's it.

And Halep now, right?

Q.  Yes, how about Halep?

PETRA KVITOVA:  We never played, Halep, on the grass.  I don't have really good record against her, but I hope it's going to be a change soon.

I mean, she has really incredible year this year.  She played so well last year already.  She won many, many titles.

I think they are playing very similar with Bouchard.  They are playing aggressively, moving very well, have a good percentage of the serves and everything like that.

Q.  What would be the key for you to beat either one of them?

PETRA KVITOVA:  I think it's going to be the same way how I'm playing:  aggressively, going to everything for the winners and just keep my serve, of course, and waiting for some chance.

Q.  When you won in 2011 you were driving a Skoda car.  Are you still driving the same car?

PETRA KVITOVA:  No.  I have a BMW right now.

Q.  Is it a sports psychologist actually on your team?  If so, how does he help?  What sort of things do you work on?

PETRA KVITOVA:  You know, it's nice to talk with somebody who probably knows how I'm feeling before my match.  If I'm like very nervous or...

He's trying to talk a lot with me about the next match, what I should do, what I have to be prepared for.

I mean, it's really tough to describe.  I mean, during the tournament it's really about the talk, what I needs to think about.  I'm doing some visualization as well.  That's everything, small things.


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