Petra Kvitova (Bílovec, República Checa, 1990) is the most decorated player in the Mutua Madrid Open history. With three titles in her showcase, the Czech star returns to the Caja Mágica chasing another trophy to expand his legacy in the Spanish capital. Ahead of the competition, Kvitova shared her thoughts.
Last year’s final vs Bertens was one of the most thrilling WTA matches of the season. What did that match mean to you?
For sure it was a really important match for me and my confidence, not only because it was another final and a big title for me, but also because it showed me how I can fight with my heart when my body is totally exhausted. I found a way to win despite being really low on energy, I just dug really really deep and refused to lose! I love to play finals and really don’t like to lose them 🙂
Which details do you value the most at the Mutua Madrid Open?
I love the courts, and the fact that they have a roof if it’s raining, which is helpful for the tournament. And then the great food, we don’t really see many tournaments where the food is as good as in Madrid.
You reached at least the semifinals in three of your last four appearances in Madrid. What’s your secret?
I guess I really like the conditions there. The courts are fast for clay courts, the altitude helps the ball fly faster and I’ve had some good results in the past, so I always feel confident on the court there. When you have played good tennis at a tournament and have happy memories there, it definitely helps.
Madrid was your first big title eight years ago. How has the tournament evolved since 2011?
The tournament improved a lot, especially the indoor spaces for the players. More sofas to lounge around on, fresh juice corner, plus the two locker rooms for the seeded and unseeded players which is so much more relaxing when it’s less crowded.
Not many players have your experience in Madrid. How is it to play out there on the Manolo Santana Stadium?
It’s a great stadium for sure and I have lots of happy memories of playing some great battles out there. It’s quite a unique stadium too and when it’s full there’s a great atmosphere.
You have visited Spain many times, including some off-seasons. What do you like the most about our culture?
Madrid is a beautiful city, with great weather when we are there. I love the buildings, the museums and of course I love the food.
This season you’ll have the chance to become the first player to win three titles in Madrid. What does a player need to succeed here?
It’s the beginning of the clay season so sometimes we need some time to get used to it. You need to win a lot of matches to win the title and you can meet great players from the first round so you have to be ready right from the beginning. And be physically and mentally ready.
The women’s tennis is really balanced at the moment. Personally, how do you see this year’s edition in Madrid?
Yes, women’s tennis is really open and we have had a lot of different players win titles already this year. I think that makes the sport exciting and interesting for the fans. Madrid always gets the best players in the draw and it’s one of the biggest tournaments on clay for us, so hopefully there will be some great matches for the fans there this year.