French Open 2015: Petra Kvitova puts doubts over clay form out to grass

The two-times Wimbledon champion is through to the fourth round

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Petra Kvitova has the perfect game for grass, but as the two-times Wimbledon champion showed here she can also hold her own on clay. Kvitova’s 6-3 6-2 victory over Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu put the 25-year-old Czech through to the fourth round of the French Open for the first time since 2012, when she reached the semi-finals.

Kvitova’s big leftie serve and flat ground strokes are at their most effective on grass, but the world No 4 proved her ability on clay when she won earlier this month in Madrid, where she beat Serena Williams in the semi-finals and Svetlana Kuznetsova for the title.

Although Kvitova struggled in her first two matches here, taking three sets to beat both Marina Erakovic and Silvia Soler-Espinosa, she needed less than an hour to dispose of Begu, who is at a career-high No 30 in the world rankings.

“It was for sure the best match I played here so far,” Kvitova said. “I’m glad that I didn’t forget many things from my game and it’s still there. I felt better today, for sure. It was the third round, which I didn’t pass here last year, so I was really motivated by it.”

Kvitova now plays Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, who at 25 is enjoying a remarkable second phase of her career. Two years ago, frustrated by a succession of injuries, Bacsinszky turned her back on tennis when she took a job in a hotel, but she soon returned to the sport. Having ended 2013 ranked No 285 in the world, she climbed to No 48 a year later and is now up to No 24.

Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck, who had won only one match at Grand Slam level before last week, is through to the last 16 after a 6-4 6-1 victory over France’s Kristina Mladenovic. Van Uytvanck, the world No 93, now faces world No 100, Romania’s Andreea Mitu, who beat Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 champion, 7-5 6-4. Mitu’s only previous appearance in a Grand Slam event was when she lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round at Wimbledon last summer.