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October 20, 2018

Petra Kvitova

Kallang, Singapore

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You have been able to kind of hit on the courts, I imagine, a little bit. Can you talk about kind of what the speed is and what the conditions are out there that you're feeling in practice?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, from my perspective, I feel it's a bit fast than the previous years. It depends on the ball, how it's bouncing, if it's like with a spin or no.

But like overall I think that what I remember even from Istanbul and here, the court was a little bit slower but not this time, which is better (smiling). I like it more, yeah.

Q. I have a question of the lopsided score that you have against Svitolina, seven victory against one. Do you think it's related more or less because of your left-handed play, or is it something else that's totaling bothering her obviously?
PETRA KVITOVA: Tough to say. I just practiced yesterday with Elina, which is a bit funny. She was only one player who I practiced with, and I'm meeting her in my first match.

Well, she's very consistent player. She can catch a lot of balls, which of course I'm not the kind of player but I'm trying to play pretty aggressive and like obviously I made some kind of winners against her when I played her before.

So I think I cannot say that her game suits me, but on the other hand I know that all of the shots are very similar which is coming from her and that's what I can prepare for that. Yeah.

Q. How soon did you arrive? How are you adjusting to the city? It's quite humid. How is it here in Singapore for you?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, fortunately I'm indoors, but we have been for the breakfast up on the pool, which is good, that I saw that already.

But most of the time I was pretty busy in a way. We came and we went straight on-site to hit. We were hitting twice already before and trying to kind of relax most of the time. The jet lag is a bit killing me.

So it's tough during the night, but it's okay. I mean, I get used to it in a way.

Q. You have had good success at the finals regardless of the city when you have been qualifying, Istanbul and obviously the final here. What is it about this format, about this event that seems to bring out quality tennis from you?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think that, like, from the first match we are meeting the best players. So that's like obviously I love to play the best of players on the big stage. This is kind of all eight and above that, so from the first match we really have to be ready for that. That's why I think is bringing the best for me.

Q. Just talking about the evolution of your game, obviously when you first started and when you were younger, I presume that everybody was quite impressed by the power that you were able to bring to the court. But over the time that you have been on tour and your game has obviously changed a little bit, can you talk about how your game has changed and why you felt like those changes needed to be implemented?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I do remember when I was young and I just came to the court. I didn't really think too much. You know, I didn't have any experience. I just was me, and only one thing which I knew before was just hitting very hard (smiling), was kind of risking it, which those balls were in, which I was very happy with that, of course, but with time, of course the mind was there more.

I was trying to be more consistent is probably is the best year which I had during the consistency and trying to mix it up a bit, not every time going for the winners.

I think my fitness improved, as well. So I do have those ability to catch a lot of balls and maybe not try to make winners and make mistakes. So if I do have the option, go for it. But if I don't, I just don't risk it as much.

When I was younger, I was more free. I didn't really care too much about, which I do care now, of course. But, yeah, I think the game changed a bit. I like play some kind of more volleys than before, serve and volley sometimes, and trying to mix it up a bit.

Q. Qualifying for this tournament does require consistency and fitness throughout the year. So making it here, does it kind of validate and pay off for you kind of seeing those improvements in real time, being here in Singapore?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, definitely. Like the first half of the season I think my consistency were very, very high. Like winning five titles, I could only imagine to win and qualify this year after last year when I came back.

So it's very special. I'm very happy that we are working on it, is really paying off. So that's a good sign.

Q. You talk about your fitness level. I mean, what is the most improvement with the fitness? What have you done to get to that fitness level? I was watching you warming up, and I was, like, wow, she looks so fit right now.

Q. You do. I know it's the end of the year right now. What did you do differently? Is there anything in your workouts?
PETRA KVITOVA: I think that end of the season which we had before the season, I really worked very, very hard. I think was the best offseason I ever have in my career, which I think it's really like showing, as well.

We worked a lot on the speed on the first few steps, which I need to get to the ball. And of course with all of the matches which I played, they were pretty long, as well. I think from those matches, I got fitness, as well, to kind of stay in the rallies and stay in the match, even for two-and-a-half hours.

So I think those matches are good practice, as well, for the tennis and for the game. But overall, I'm happy that I stayed healthy. Even I had so many matches, I'm still together, not falling apart, which is good, and hopefully one more week will stay like that.

Q. Just going back to the question about your game, you said that you had to change to be a little bit more consistent on the court. Why do you think that you had to do that? Because we have seen that not just from you but from a lot of other powerful players, as well. We have also seen players that have remained power players and not adjusted a ton. Why do you think there seems to be this shift towards you kind of have to be able to do a bit of everything on court these days?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, when we see like the women's tennis and tennis as global, everybody is just getting fitter and better. And I think because of it, like, the players can catch more and more balls.

But if you're still playing just aggressive and this is only one plan that you have, you can win some of the matches, but you can't really win so many and have some titles. So you can hit like two, three winners, but when the opponent gets second and third shot, then you miss it. I think sometimes it's really tough to find a balance between those really, like, great shots and just not that powerful one.

Q. You have said that this season is more special than your 2011 season. How much would doing well here prove that your comeback is completed, you are really fully back?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, already that I'm sitting here and playing this venue, it's great, so I don't really thinking whatever the result would be here. You're right. I think it's one of the special season I ever had with my career. I'm very proud of it, actually, which is weird. I never said it. Yeah, we'll see how everything end up here, but the season is great, anyway.

Q. How does this event compare to Grand Slams for you, in a sense that they are obviously big points, big money, but here it's more a party atmosphere, focus is only on you and your seven competitors? Do you like that comparison? How do they compare for you?
PETRA KVITOVA: I do like it, actually. And I think I like those kind of party things, as well, which we had yesterday. I think it's, you know, when you're waiting for the holding room for the draw and everything, you just chat with those girls, which I don't think it's really happening like during those Grand Slams or tournaments.

So it's really fun to kind of talk with them. I think it's just getting closer when we have this event. I like it from this perspective. And from a tennis perspective it's just different. It's the same when you are going to work every day and something is different suddenly. You just enjoy it more and you like it, which is the same case here for me.

Q. Since 2015, Czech Republic brings highest number of players. I wonder what this result could mean to you and maybe for your country?
PETRA KVITOVA: The results of what?

Q. The highest number of players.
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, for me, like I'm proud of Czech Republic, of course. Proud of being one of the players who are playing great tennis in our country.

Tennis, it's a big thing in Czech. We do have a lot of history of it, so I'm very pleased that we do have the generation who are still going in this lines and doing well. I think we are, I don't know, seven of us here, which is amazing. I don't think we ever have this before.

So, yeah, it's great. I don't know why, actually, but it's something really special for all of us.

Q. As one of the hardest ball strikers on the tour that you are, can you comment on who you think is what kind of like your game and who hits the ball as hard or harder on the tour right now? Maybe oldest player to the youngest player?
PETRA KVITOVA: I played Aryna Sabalenka this year in US Open, and I think she really does it. She's hitting very hard from the serve and from the shots, as well.

Who else? Actually, I never played myself, so it's tough to compare it. I don't know how hard I'm hitting the balls (smiling).

Yeah, of course Serena. What I can say? And I think Jelena Ostapenko sometimes when she has the great shots she can really go for it. Who else? Yeah, I think it's enough.

Q. What was the vibe like yesterday just with this group of eight? You have obviously qualified with different groups. A lot of overlap probably. But I don't know. What was it like kind of being in the holding room with these girls, you know, going and taking the iconic photo? What's the feeling amongst you all?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it's been great as I sat over there. It's something totally different. We were doing the selfie with the selfie stick, so much fun with that.

And I don't know. It's something really different that we have to work like a team for a while, let's say, in this kind of events. And of course then we're gonna stand against each other the next day.

But in this kind of situation, I really enjoy that. We had a good talk with the girls, as well. I just like that, yeah.

Q. You have been competing different generations. Girls are getting younger and younger. Do you feel a challenge from the younger generation?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, of course, that we do -- well, I do, feel the young generation, as well. I played few of them during this year. Naomi is here probably as the younger one. Sloane, as well, for the first time.

I do feel the young generation, for sure. But I'm still happy I can compete with them somehow. I'm not that old yet, hopefully.

So, yeah, of course those young players are more free and playing very free and just hitting the balls and not really thinking too much.

We need to kind of use the experience of what we already played and using against them. And, yeah, you feel that. It's nice that kind of new faces are coming out, as well.

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