Petra Kvitova SF interview

  • def. Danielle Collins 7-6(2) 6-0

Q. It's been a while. How does it feel to be back in a Grand Slam final?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it's been a while. It's been five years. You know, that's why I worked pretty hard to be back there. It just taste very great. So I'm really happy to be back there again.

To be honest, I think not very many people believe that I can do that again, to stand on the court and play tennis and kind of play on this level. It was just really few of them, I think.

I'm very happy to have those few around me, which is the best, I think. And definitely feels great. Hopefully for them, as well, for my family and for everybody who was there when I needed it.

Yeah, what I can say?

Q. Has it seemed like five very long years for you? Or does the Wimbledon final from 2014 feel, like, close?
PETRA KVITOVA: You know, those losses felt pretty long. I had, like, two highlights. When I reached the quarterfinal US Open and I think last year was okay in the U.S., as well. It was always much better in that.

But obviously, like, for the mental side it wasn't really easy to kind of deal with that every time coming to the Grand Slam and losing. Maybe that's why it's probably more sweeter than should be.

Q. On the roof being closed, what was your knowledge of that coming into the match? How pleased were you? It was getting extremely hot out there, wasn't it?
PETRA KVITOVA: Actually, I knew it for few days that Thursday, Friday, should be very, very hot. So this morning I actually ask the rep from WTA how is the rules that I know before coming to the court. She told me that's what happen in the court afterwards.

They closed the roof. I think it's great to have this rule. If we do have those options with the roof, I think it's great. I think sometimes it's very dangerous to play in this kind of heat. So I'm really for it.

Q. I understand you met with Monica Seles in June. You feel a bond with her after her attack. Her comeback slam, I guess, was here in Melbourne. Wondered if you had any contact with her...
PETRA KVITOVA: I didn't know that, actually. It's nice then.

No, unfortunately I don't have any contact, but as you said, in June I met her for the first time. Actually, she was the one who wanted to meet me, so it was just great and big honour.

I know that how it affect her career a lot, especially it happened on the court. So it's a bit different, but it was such a nice feeling to meet someone who kind of went through same things and thoughts and everything. Yeah, it was very nice.

Q. You have said that you worked very hard to get to this point, but in terms of your physical strength, you looked particularly strong this year. I was wondering if there is anything in particular you did in the off-season to get so strong and if it helped your mental game, as well, when you got here?
PETRA KVITOVA: I don't think I changed anything specifically. I just think that when I got fitter during the last year, as well, I just think that it was just more about the amount of it, like, more weights, more running, more kind of – more hours with training than I was able to do it before. I don't think I did anything specifically differently.

Of course it's helping my mental, as well, and I know I can catch more balls, I can be there longer time. Even if it's heat, I'm able to be there and run and fight whatever is happening. Definitely everything is together. It's very connected. I'm happy for that.

Q. You mentioned a few people around you. It's also been noticeable that there has only been a few people in your box. I understand that that has been, like, a conscious measure of yours. Can you explain why that's important to only have a couple of people there and not a big team?
PETRA KVITOVA: You know, it's kind of far away from Europe to Australia, so it's probably that's why (smiling).

Yeah, my tennis coach, fitness coach, and my agent in the box. They are, for sure, those three were there when I really needed it. Of course there is few more, but it's just long way, as I said.

Actually, like, I think almost everyone who really helped me during that period came for my first match in French Open and stayed there. In Wimbledon, my doctor came, as well. So it's nothing just is only three in the box, but it's just how it is.

Q. Obviously your courage and your story has inspired many, many people. I know you have been asked this many times, but would you share what you really had to draw on after the terrible incident? And also, what it means to finally win, to finally reach a Grand Slam final.
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, to be honest, I'm still not really believing that I'm in the final. It's kind of weird, to be honest, as well, that I didn't know even if I gonna play tennis again.

Yeah, it wasn't really nice time to be dealing with everything. It wasn't only physically but mentally was very tough, as well. It took me really while to believe, to the people around me again, and especially to the men, for sure.

So I wasn't pretty confident to be alone somewhere. I do remember coming first time I was alone in the locker room in Prague in the club, and I came to my team and said, Well, it was first time I was alone there, and, yeah, it was good one today that I really felt okay.

Yeah, it was lot of, lot of work with the hand. It was lot of recovery, treatment. You know, it was – I think that's kind of the sport life help me a lot with that. I just set up the mind that I really wanted to come back, and I just did everything.

So I was, like, practicing with the hand, like, two, three times per day, which I don't know if normal person will do that, but of course that I needed the hand to be back on the court. Not only on the court but be able to kind of live normal life.

Yeah, that's how it was. Like those three months were very, very tough. I find out lately that my doctor was very – he wasn't really happy with my hand during the second month, because the scars were very, very tight and hard, and I couldn't really do anything with that. Luckily he didn't tell me, like, during that period. He waited when he could tell me.

So I think that kind of the mental side was there, and I really need to be strong and not really thinking too negatively about it, but of course those thoughts were there, as well.

Yeah, it's been long journey.

Q. A couple years ago, you played great, great, great. The next year not so great. Two years later you seem very mature. Do you feel that way when you get on court?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, it's tough to say that I didn't play well. I was still top 10, which I don't think it's that bad. But I just didn't really have the chances in the Grand Slams.

I think afterwards I have been a little bit more mature to win the second title in Wimbledon was, I think, much more sweeter for me, kind of be able to repeat it. Yeah, I'm not sure if I'm, like, more mature now, but I think it's the life process, which everybody is going through, and I think it's the same with me. So, yeah.

Q. Li Na is here. She's playing legends matches. She said she hopes you can win the tournament a few days ago.
PETRA KVITOVA: She is sweet (smiling).

Q. There is a rumour she will present the trophy during the ceremony. How do you think about what she said?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, I know she's here. I saw her in the TV when she received the award of the Hall of Fame. She texted me, too. So we are in touch, for sure. We didn't see each other live. Unfortunately I didn't know how that is possible.

But it's true. And, yeah, I know. She's great. And it will be nice if I can do it here, same as her, but we'll see.

About the trophy ceremony, I don't know anything. Actually, I don't really care right now, so whatever.

Q. You mentioned on court that you like playing finals. I'm curious to know, that you have won your last eight consecutive, how much confidence do you take from your strong final in records entering this one?
PETRA KVITOVA: Last eight? I think was last seven, wasn't it?

Q. I think it's eight with Sydney.
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah? Okay. What was the question?

Q. How much confidence do you take from your strong record in finals entering this one?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think it feels better to knowing kind of this, that I do have better percentage of winning than losing in the final. Every final is different, because every time is just different opponent or different place or time.

And this is kind of different, too. It's a Grand Slam, so I know I do have 100% chance of winning it, but you never really know. I don't know who I gonna face, either. So we'll see.

As I said on the court, I really love playing finals. I love playing on the big stages. It will be one of them. I really look forward to.

Q. There is obviously a chance you might play Karolina. What is it about the Czech tennis system to produce -- you have produced a lot of champions over the years, but again, to have two players that may play in the final?
PETRA KVITOVA: It's a good question. And I never really know the answer for it. Maybe something in the water or in the air, but we do have great history of tennis in Czech Republic. We have many, many legends. I think the tennis is very popular in Czech Republic. Almost everyone can play. I know it's expensive sport, so it's not really easy for a kid to play.

But I think it's about the parents, as well, who took us to the tennis courts and played and really have time spending with us on the court. And I think, you know, those coaches, we need them. We need them to show us what we have to do when we are in the kind of puberty. So to do what we have to do.

Yeah, luckily we do have kind of these players. I think, you know, when we are playing Fed Cup finals, it's amazing that the captain can choose from who gonna play, and that's very nice that if someone is not really ready that someone else can play and win it.

So I think it's great, and it's kind of motivating each other, I think, as well.