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May 28, 2017

Petra Kvitova

Paris, France

P. KVITOVA/J. Boserup

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. After six months away from the circuit, how do you feel after this victory in two sets?
PETRA KVITOVA: In two sets. I feel great, obviously, of course. I won. You know, as I told last time, I already won. This match special to me. I won for the second time, if I can say.

It was nice and really heartwarming welcome in the Chatrier. My team was there. My family was there. Everyone who helped me through the difficult time. So it was a real pleasure to play in front of them and play how I played. I think I played well after six months off. I'm happy with the game, of course, but I mean, it wasn't really about the game today.

Q. Can you just try and walk us through the emotions of stepping on the court and actually walking off it as a winner?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yesterday I was thinking how everything will be, and I couldn't really imagine how that's going to be. I maybe thought that, you know, I would cry when I step on the court, but I didn't today, which actually I was happy, because normally I can control my emotion on the court, so I'm happy that I kind of did it, as well, this time.

In the end, I didn't have to anymore. So, yeah, few tears for after the match point. Of course going as a winner from the center court was much better than stepping on the court.

Q. How did your hand feel? Was it any different to playing in practice, for example? Were you hitting the ball harder?
PETRA KVITOVA: I didn't feel any differences, which is nice. When we had a little bit of break when the rain came, then I catch the racquet and it was a little bit weird, but after one point was everything okay. I was happy that I didn't have any pain.

I promised my doctor, who gave me green light, that if I feel pain in my hand during the match or in the practice, I'm stopping immediately. So I'm glad that I didn't make it (smiling).

Q. The security here obviously is quite heavy and visible, as it is for many large events now. Do you see this differently now? Do you take note of it more than you would have before what happened to you?
PETRA KVITOVA: Actually, no. I mean, today was, of course, more security than the days before we came. And we are all glad, actually. I have to say they are really taking care of everything, and I'm happy for that.

I feel safe here, like, on-site. Of course in the locker room and lounges and everything. So that's fine. I'm trying not to really go to see other people around.

Q. Over the past couple of months, have you been surprised by the sort of reaction you've gotten from the locker room, from fans, from like the entire tennis community, huge wall in Indian Wells and all these sort of things? How much strength has that given to you to maybe come back a little bit sooner?
PETRA KVITOVA: It was great, actually. I saw the video from the Australian Open when the girls talked to me and it was really nice. I had tears, of course.

I mean, I felt the support of everyone on social media, or just text me on my phone, and through the tournaments. The banner in Indian Wells was just amazing. Just everything to Czech Republic to my friends, so I think they will be very happy.

Yeah, and I think this kind of nice messages helped me, as well, with the coming back, with the motivation and with the strength.

Q. Everywhere you go for some time to come now, everyone who sees you for the first time, every new tournament that you're returning to will wish to show recognition of what you have been through. Normality is a long way off. Are you aware of that?
PETRA KVITOVA: Not really. I mean, of course this tournament is special. That's why I try to play here. I'm glad that we made this decision. It wasn't easy decision to be here and play. I didn't know how I will be ready.

But I think that for all the staff, for the media, for seeing the opponents, the friends and people around, it's just really important to be here and to have done everything what I need to do to be more relaxed inside and more peace for the next coming tournaments, because I wanted to come back not just to play, but of course I still do have my goals, which I talk about in the end of the last seasons. They are still there, so I want to improve my game to play the best and to have some great results.

Q. You said that you promised your doctor that if you felt anything you wouldn't play. When was the last time you did feel pain? Is it from time to time?
PETRA KVITOVA: Actually, not really. I mean, when I started to kind of play, I did feel a little bit. But it was everything about the scars. The scars were very tight and very hard. So every time I touched a ball, I felt it. But of course you need to have some kind of pain but not like too much, and that's was on me, on my decision, to stop it or no.

From the beginning, I had my fingers swollen a lot, as well. I hit like 15 minutes, for example, or then we had to just finish the practices. But I have to say, like, last one month was no pain at all. So I'm happy that it's still continuing like that.

Q. Could you tell us about the T-shirts? Were they a surprise? Or has the team been wearing them for a little while?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, when we were thinking to -- well, at the time where we thought maybe I really could play again, doesn't matter why, we were, like, thinking how can we do something special? That's what everything went well, I think. The courage and belief, that's what I probably had to have in this kind of situation. The belief and the mind, the heart, it's really important.

So that's why what we try to show everyone. I hope that it will be kind of inspiration for other people, as well.

Q. You started the match with three winners, big serve. You broke immediately. You said the other day that you had no expectations coming in. How did it feel that things seemed to kind of fall back into place immediately for you?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, just went with my team, and I was, uh-oh, the first point was amazing. I surprised myself like with the forehand winner straightaway. I was like, Oh. It felt weird (smiling) but great, as well, of course.

I think the game, it wasn't really about the game. I mean, I had big motivation, and I know that I gonna do everything what I can even if I should just run from side to side to win it.

But, yeah, it felt great. I mean, I felt like I'm still in Wuhan or Zhuhai or whatever I went before. So I'm glad it's still there, still in the mind, still in the hand. It's still a little bit tricky sometimes. I felt few times when the racquet wasn't really in my hand strongly. But, yeah, the serve, I mean, that's what I felt maybe will be really tough to serve well, but I think if I gonna practice more and my hand will improve will be better and better.

Q. I hate to hold you to your own words, but you keep saying it's not about the game today. So what is it about?
PETRA KVITOVA: As I mentioned already, I think I came here as a winner already. When we were thinking to play here, I was telling my coaches that I really want to come here and win my first match.

So then we will be, like, a great dream to have. And that's happened. The motivation which I had today was amazing, and I really didn't -- I just didn't want to lose. I mean, of course, that everybody probably saying that, but it was a little bit more special to me today than any other matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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