Kvitova sees the positive after French semifinal loss

Petra Kvitova in action during her first round against Sofia Kenin in the French Open on Thursday. Her 6-4 7-5 defeat did not dampen her spirits
SPIRITED COMEBACK: Petra Kvitova in action during her first round against Sofia Kenin in the French Open on Thursday. Her 6-4 7-5 defeat did not dampen her spirits
Image: REUTERS/GONZALO FUENTES

Petra Kvitova leant more towards celebrating her return to the French Open last-four after eight years than ruing her missed chances against Sofia Kenin in a 6-4 7-5 loss on Thursday.

Kvitova, who suffered a career-threatening hand injury in 2016 after a knife attack during a burglary at her Czech home, returned to tennis at the 2017 French Open and felt like taking heart from 2020’s run at Roland Garros.

“I mean, being in a semifinal here, it was great achievement for me definitely.

“I’m very happy and glad and grateful for that, for sure,” the seventh seed told a news conference.

“I could be at home watching and not even play tennis any more.

“So for me, just to be in the semifinal here in the Grand Slam, it’s something real special.

“Even if a loss is painful, which is normal and should be like this, I’m very happy how everything went.”

Since her comeback, Kvitova had not made it past the quarterfinal stage at a Grand Slam until 2019’s US Open, and her last-four appearance here confirmed the 30-year-old is back for good, with the help of coach Jiri Vanek.

“I’m very pleased for everything I’ve been through in the last three years, four years,” she said.

“With Jiri, we’ve been together for four years.

“I think our work, it’s on the good way, I would say.

“I think he helped me a lot with consistency, the mental strength, with the kind of believing in myself with the confidence, which I was a little bit struggling [with] maybe before.

“I think that even now sometimes I do have the Plan B, too, on the court when I’m not really playing the best and everything.

“I’m able to find a way to win it.”

Kvitova, however, has to deal with the rise of a new generation of players — starting with Kenin, 21, and the fourth-seeded American’s opponent in Saturday’s final, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek of Poland.

It does not scare the experienced Czech though.

“I’m ready to challenge them.

“I don’t want to give them a free spot, for sure.

“I mean, none of us [do],” Kvitova said with a smile.

“For sure I’m not ending my career yet, so that’s how it is.”

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X