May 3, 2021
P. KVITOVA/V. Kudermetova
6-3, 4-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. A tough three-set match against a young, up-and-coming player. Your thoughts on the match?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, definitely it was a tough one. I felt like it's a bit like a men match today, about serving a lot. Was just the one break in each set.
I'm really glad I managed most of it mentally because it was pretty tough, especially in the third set when I have 40-15 down, Love-30 in the last game. So I'm really glad that the serve helped me in the end. I'm glad how we played, for sure. It was very nice tennis.
Yeah, I'm through, so that's important.
Q. Do you think your game on clay is evolving, improving every match?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, I don't think it's only on the clay, but overall I think when I'm playing longer in a tournament, I'm getting better. So that's how I feel it, as well. It's not really typical clay when we can slide a lot. I like it here, so probably that's why.
Q. A lot of players talk about how there are no easy rounds. Your draw thus far has been difficult. Has that affected your mindset going into this tournament knowing that you would really have to be on your best from the first ball?
PETRA KVITOVA: Yeah, I feel as well the draw wasn't really easy. I don't have easy draw. Either in Stuttgart.
Yeah, it's challenging from the first rounds. I feel like I'm not seeded player, but actually I am. That's still very tough.
Veronika was really in the fire. Since she won the Charleston, she really play great. She will be big champion. Not easy matches.
As I see the first rounds already here, it wasn't really easy for anybody. That's how it is here. That's how we have to fight and be ready for the first one.
Q. You hadn't played her before. How much of her game had you gotten to see? What were you prepared for?
PETRA KVITOVA: I didn't see anything. My coach told me. He was right in everything he said, to be honest. She really trying to play aggressive. From the forehand it's a little bit more spin, which I think is very useful on the clay. She can slide. She is playing some slices, as well. She's moving very well actually on the clay. That was the difficulty.
Most of it, she really served very well. That's what I've been a little bit surprised probably from it. Actually when the match went on, I just get too used that she just serving very well.
Q. I think it was in the third set you saved some breakpoints to hold serve for 4-2. You showed quite a bit of emotion after holding. Was that a big turning point in the match?
PETRA KVITOVA: You know what, I knew that it's about the serve. I couldn't make it in the second set. I was pretty close, but I just couldn't make it. Suddenly she had a great game, I lost my serve, I lost the second set suddenly.
I really know it's about the break. When I got it, of course then the pressure a little bit on you because now you have to hold it, otherwise it could be tiebreak or whatever. That's how I felt it. That game for sure was very important for me. I was down 40-15 so it wasn't really easy.
Yeah, definitely that's why I showed my emotions.
Q. What did today's victory over Veronika teach you? Anything you can point out?
PETRA KVITOVA: Well, I would say whole match I was kind of not relaxed but calm I would say. That's how I managed to bring it to the win, I would say. I think it was the main thing which I did really well. That's bring me the win.
Of course, if you are playing with somebody like Veronika, she's really serving very well, she couldn't miss. I felt like she is not really missing. That's, of course, for the confidence very good. So I would love to take that with me for the next rounds.
Q. Looking ahead, you'll be facing either Ash or Iga. You know Ash very well. Talk about what you think has changed in the matchup between both of you to where she's been able to put things a little bit more on her side? How much do you look forward to getting another chance to play her?
PETRA KVITOVA: To be honest, as you mentioned, we play many times. I think we never play -- well, we played on clay, but it was many, many years ago so I'm not counting then.
But I do remember we practiced that year when unfortunately I had to pull out of the French afterwards. Of course, she has a game for clay very well. She's sliding. She's playing lots of slice and everything.
Of course it's about the few points. I mean, of course she likes clay a little bit more than me probably. I like Madrid. So who knows, right?
I mean, I'm really looking forward. Always playing Ash, it's great challenge. It will be great matchup. I really will enjoy it. I'm really looking forward for it.
Q. To play Iga, obviously you guys were one match away from facing off in the final in Paris. What do you make of her rise? How much have you been able to see her play?
PETRA KVITOVA: You're right, yeah, I've been pretty close to face her, but very far in the end. I didn't really, like, see a lot from her. That's what I, like, know or feel. She has a lot of variability in her game. That's probably why she won the French without dropping a set. She loves clay, for sure.
But what I saw was a little bit of the topspin with the forehand. Definitely she has to move well. So, yeah, if I going to face her, actually I probably have to have a look on her (smiling).
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