This year marks one decade since the season that Petra Kvitova made a name for herself. In 2011, the Czech player won her first Grand Slam, was crowned master of the WTA and won her first Mutua Madrid Open, along with three other titles.
“It was my first tournament when I realized I can play well on clay. I think it was 2011, the season when I won Wimbledon and the WTA Finals. Of course, I won some tournaments before, but Madrid was the biggest I won that year”, the world No. 13 said on Tuesday during Media Day after her first training session in the Caja Mágica.
That turning point for Kvitova was beating Victoria Azarenka in the final, “I think it really showed me that I can beat the best players in the world. It really gave me a lot experiences as well and confidence”, she admitted. So much, in fact, that the Bilovec-born player repeated the feat at the MMOpen on two other occasions (2015 and 2018).
This year’s champion in Doha comes to the Spanish capital after reaching the quarter-finals in Stuttgart. “I’ve been very happy to be home, do my laundry, just pack again, and we arrived yesterday. I just practised actually”, said Kvitova, who opens her Mutua Madrid Open campaign against Marie Bouzkova.
The player who has been in the Madrid winners’ circle more often than any other faced her compatriot last year in Cincinnati. Although she lost that match in three sets (2-6, 7-5, 6-2), Kvitova concluded that she has to “play until the end. I played a set and a half very, very well, then I think my concentration dropped a little bit. That’s how she took the chance”, adding that she hopes that this time it will be “a little bit different as we’re playing on clay”.