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Petra Kvitova plays down Wimbledon chances, talks motherhood

June 25, 2023

Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Petra Kvitova has dismissed her chances of a third title at SW19, and talks of challenges for female athletes around career vs. family.

Petra Kvitova has played down her chances of winning another Wimbledon
Petra Kvitova celebrates another title win on grassImage: Luciano Lima/Beautiful Sports/IMAGO

Some things are more certain in life than others, but Petra Kvitova winning titles on grass must rank quite highly on that list.

Despite her success on the surface — Sunday's German Open victory over Donna Vekic was her sixth title on grass — Kvitova was downbeat about her chances of a third Wimbledon crown.

Asked by DW if she was a contender, the Czech left-hander replied emphatically: "No."

Asked why not, she continued: "It's always different playing a Grand Slam and playing the other tournaments. There's a lot of pressure over there. I'm going to try to enjoy it. If I play good tennis, who knows what can happen. I'm really happy with this week, that's important for me. We will see what happens."

World number one Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus are the current dominant forces in women's tennis, while Elena Rybakina emerged victorious at Wimbledon last year. Kvitova expects all three to be in the mix this year.

"I think we always have a few favorites who can win it, it's a little bit different to the men's side," she said. "But maybe there will be a surprise."

Kvitova displayed her characteristic big-hitting as she battled past Vekic 6-2, 7-6 in the Berlin final. She was on the ropes at times in the second set but came through a tense tie-break to seal the 31st title of her career.

"It always feels great when I have the title," Kvitova said. "Grass is my favorite surface, so I'm very happy."

Looking back, looking forward

It has been 12 years since Kvitova enjoyed the first of her Wimbledon successes. She has experienced plenty of ups and downs in the meantime, including a horrific knife attack in her home in 2016. Suffering wounds to her left hand, she feared she would never pick up a racket again.

The victories and the pain she went through to get back to the sport she loves give cause for reflection.

"12 years, wow!" Kvitova said. "It's a long time. It feels like yesterday, time is flying. A lot of things changed in my life, on the court and off the court. I've been through some very tough times, I didn't know if I would come back or not.

"I think I am more mature. I still love playing on grass, that didn't change luckily. I still love tennis and still have the motivation. That's important with age, you have more experience and you think a little bit more."

At 33, the popular Czech is now among the tour's elder stateswomen.

However, when it was put to her that she could continue playing for another five or 10 years, Kvitova suggested that she was starting to turn her attention towards other things in life.

"In 10 years for sure I will not be playing any more," she laughed.

"One day I would love to be a mum and have kids. It's always a tough decision with the timing. I think for female athletes it's not really easy to choose what you want to have in life. I'm not thinking about it right now. Whatever happens, happens. We'll see what life brings."

Edited by Jonathan Harding