Petra Kvitova: I won’t fear the pressure of Wimbledon success a second time

 

Tennis Correspondent

There is almost a look of horror in Petra Kvitova’s face as she remembers what it was like the last time she won the Wimbledon title three years ago. “Somebody recognised me on the way from Southfields to the grounds,” the 24-year-old Czech recalled here on Saturday night in the wake of her final victory over Eugenie Bouchard.

“We came back here to try dresses on for the ball. I remember the walk and was quite surprised when somebody recognised me. I don’t really like to be recognised. I’m not really the kind of person who likes all the attention. I’m a more private person.”

Kvitova admits that she struggled to cope with the aftermath of her previous Wimbledon triumph. That was evident in her subsequent results. She won only two matches in the course of the 2011 North American hard-court season and lost to Alexandra Dulgheru, the world No 48, in the first round of the US Open.

Today Kvitova is three years older and three years wiser, but she is still unsure what to expect in the coming weeks and months. “Maybe it will help that I already know what it feels like to be champion,” she said.

“It is a great experience and I remember the good and bad things from that time. The pressure is going to be there again a little bit – more pressure than there was. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like again. All I know is that I am just glad that I won.”

Kvitova said that being so much in the public eye had come as a shock after her victory here three years ago. “It was very difficult to handle,” she said. “Suddenly the media and everyone were very interested in me, and in many ways it changed my life.”

 

After purchasing a flat in Monte Carlo with the proceeds of her 2011 triumph, Kvitova is now looking forward to buying a new house in the Czech Republic for her parents. She had already won more than $12.5m (about £7.3m) in prize-money and her bank balance will be boosted by a further £1.76m after her victory here.

Kvitova’s triumph extended her country’s remarkable record in tennis and one of the first to congratulate the new champion was Martina Navratilova, the greatest Czech of them all.

“I went up the stairs and she was there waiting for me,” Kvitova said. “She said: ‘Congratulations’. Then I saw her on the TV and she had tears in her eyes again. She was so happy. I know she’s a really big fan of mine. She was cheering for me. I can’t describe what it means to me because she’s a legend and a great person.”

While Kvitova said she could not imagine matching Navratilova’s total of nine Wimbledon singles titles, there is no reason why she should not add to her tally in years to come.

As Kvitova proved with her crushing 6-3, 6-0 victory over Bouchard, when she hits her flat groundstrokes with such power and accuracy she is all but unstoppable on grass. What she needs to do now is to improve her record on other surfaces; Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament where she has made the final.

Kvitova will climb two places to No 4 in today’s updated world rankings list, while Bouchard will move up to No 7, breaking into the top 10 for the first time.

The 20-year-old Canadian was philosophical in defeat and said she would learn from her first Grand Slam final. She has had an excellent year, having also reached the semi-finals in Melbourne and Paris.

“I am very motivated to win a Grand Slam,” Bouchard said. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine. I feel like I’ve taken steps in the right direction to achieve that. This year I’ve been close in every Slam.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas