January 10, 2022
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
P. KVITOVA/A. Rus
3-6, 7-6, 7-5
THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to Sydney, two-time champion here. How does it feel to be back on the court again?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it was nice to be back after so many years. Definitely I really enjoyed it with the roof, as well, so that's great improvement here.
Yeah, was a very, very tough one. I made it, which I think I really needed kind of this match to get through at the beginning of the season. I'm really glad that I made it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You saved a couple of match points in that encounter. As you say, yeah, it was very close. At those stages, what was your mindset? Was it just to go for it or try and play safe?
PETRA KVITOVA: Match points? Just serve well. That was my point. I think I made first serves in both match points. I'm not sure. I think.
Yeah, I was just going for the serve. I don't think that I will play safe. I will just go for it probably. Not like risky but like a little bit harder than just running over there. And I made a good serve, so that was a little bit easier then.
Q. What was the difference between today's match and the last time you played her? Because I think the last time you played her it was way more comfortable for you.
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it was. In Indian Wells, I started very well. And I think Arantxa didn't play as good as today definitely. I think I played better, as well. So, you know, the gap, it's a little bit bigger than when you count these moments of it.
Yeah, I mean, the conditions are different, of course with the balls and the surface. In Indian Wells it's bouncing a little bit up and it's much slower, so I could really stand in the court and push it all the way. But here of course it's different. Yeah.
Q. Conditions, did you feel it really muggy, really humid?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I did (smiling). I had to change my clothes, as well. The sweat was everywhere. You know, it's not really nice to play in with it.
And obviously when I had to have sweaty hands, you know, the racquet is not really perfectly handed in my hands. Yeah, I played some kicks and so many frames, as well. It's really tough for me, especially after the surgery on my finger.
It's not really easy, but definitely I'm glad for the roof. I mean, playing outside may be a little bit of wind will be there, but the (indiscernible) will be tough, as well.
Q. What is it about this tournament that you feel so comfortable in? 2019, 2015 you had tremendous success over here. What is it about Ken Rosewall Arena and these surroundings?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I'm not really sure. I just know that I always looking forward for these tournaments here in Australia. Sydney obviously it's a really special one for me. Beautiful city. That center court is just amazing. I love the crowd, as well.
I played a final against Ash 2019, and the atmosphere was just unbelievable. I made it somehow, but I have no idea how, but it was great match.
Yeah, I'm not really sure. The surface is a bit faster, as well, which I like. Yeah, that's it.
Q. You have had a bit of time along the Sydney Harbor area on a nice day, and you ran into Andy Murray there?
PETRA KVITOVA: He ran into me (smiling).
Q. He ran into you. It's a lovely harbor, isn't it?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, it was lovely view, definitely. It was nice time over there. The sun was shining. It was beautiful day.
I do have some recommendation from Adam, as well, what I can do here in Sydney, but I'm not sure if I can make it. I will be very exhausted tomorrow, and I will see how, you know, the plan will be after it.
But we have been running, as well, the first day we came to Opera and see the harbor. Was very, very nice.
Q. You played finals, 2019, Australian Open. How do you feel playing here in Australia?
PETRA KVITOVA: How I'm gonna make it this year in Australia?
Q. You played finals in 2019 at Australian Open. How do you feel playing here in Australia?
PETRA KVITOVA: I love to play in Australia, as I mentioned already. I do have the best memories what I can. Well, losing in the final 2019 was really hurting a lot. It was very close match.
Yeah, it was pain for such a long time, but overall I love to play here, you know, in front of the crowd and Australians just love tennis. I mean, it's a legendary sport here, and I really feel it, as well, when we are playing and the people are supporting. Definitely it's nice to be down here.
Q. Can you give us a sense as to what is the biggest goal for you this week in Sydney, just with the Australian Open a week out, looking for matches but also just looking for level? I mean, what's your goal this week?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, definitely my first goal was to reach the second round, to do better than Adelaide. So I have that. So that was my biggest goal (smiling).
I think that's it. I mean, yeah, of course the matches is important before the Australian Open beginning of the season, but, yeah, this was my main one. So I already reached my goal (smiling).
Q. Through the two matches that you have played in Adelaide and then here, and then also just with the practices in Adelaide and in Sydney, where do you see the status of your game, the level of your game right now? Where do you see the biggest areas of improvement that you want to kind of shore up before you get to Melbourne?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, it's not really, you know, time to improve something before Melbourne right now. I should do it in the offseason. I think I had a pretty tough offseason, so I hope that at one point it will show up.
Well, I mean, it's tough to compare how I'm playing right now and the last years, but definitely I can still improve the movement on it. You know, sometimes the easy balls is where I'm doing the mistakes. That's what I wanted to improve, the short balls what I just wanted to do the winner, or not winner but not miss it.
So that's, with my risky game, sometimes it's very tricky. But when I'm playing the best tennis, I just can't miss. That's I think is the gap over there.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports