By Ros Satar at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart
- Petra Kvitova  def. Anastasija Sevastova  2-6, 6-2, 6-3
- Reaches the semi-final in Stuttgart for the third time
STUTTGART, GERMANY – Two-time Grand Slam champion and twice a semi-finalist, Petra Kvitova reaches the semi-final, all without her coaching team by her side this week.
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Petra Kvitova  def. Anastasija Sevastova  2-6, 6-2, 6-3
The start of the match could not have looked worse for a two-time Grand Slam champion and two-time semi-finalist, Petra Kvitova. Anastasija Sevastova hit the dirt running, ripping through the first two service games of Kvitova to jump out to a 4-0 lead. By the time Kvitova found her feet, it was too late to make any sort of impact on the first set, but she ruefully acknowledged that at least she had not been served up a ‘bagel’ score-line.
The second set certainly started a more settled and competitive affair, but Kvitova kept her patience, striking with two breaks to love at the end of the set to level things up. With an early break, it looked to be clear sailing for Kvitova, but Sevastova put up a brief flurry of resistance, getting the break back, before being broken straight back, before serving out the match.
Kvitova had no option to but to admit that this had not been a good start at all for her, when she spoke to the press after her match.
“The first set I started really really bad. I don’t remember a that bad start for so many matches. So, I didn’t really feel great, I was very slow, my arm wasn’t moving at all and it was really difficult. She didn’t miss anything, and I missed everything. So, it was pretty quick the first set but luckily won two games, so it wasn’t bagel (laughs).
“Then, I finally started well on the serve and the first game kept me a little bit more calmer than before and I was still telling myself that I should stay on the serve and whatever will happen happens. Suddenly, I won the second set which was nice (laughs) and in the third I really had to fight. I think she played a really good game. She was mixing up a bit and she was moving well as well. So, it was pretty difficult.”
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At the start of the tournament, Kvitova admitted that she was on her own this week, with her coaching team having a break, but they have been in touch, ahead of her matches.
She said: “I have to do everything by myself (laughs) as of course like string m rackets and kind of warming up and of course I don’t have Jiri [Vanek] to hit with for my warm-up before my match. And of course, I mean I do have contact with them what I should do preparing for the match and kind of this stuff, tactics as well. It’s a bit different. I can’t say it’s better or worse. It’s just different.
“But still, it’s me, especially on the court. I mean for example today I’m very proud of myself that I was able to turn it around even Jiri didn’t come to the court and they are not sitting in the box and cheering for me. That’s what I’m taking back positive that I was still able to do it by myself.”
“I think if I play Angie it’s going to be like a Fed Cup tie playing here. So, the crowd will be definitely on her side, but I’m used to it, I played her a few years ago here in the semi-finals as well. She is a lefty, she is a very good mover on the clay as well, she has some tricky shots sometimes, and it kind of depends on how I’m going to play kind of with the aggressive game, if I will miss or if I don’t miss. So, I’m going to try my best as always.
“And Kiki, well I heard that she hit so many aces last night. So, it will be about the serve for sure indoor, and she likes to play aggressive sometimes as well with her forehand. So, I think that she is going to miss it a lot (laughs), sorry, mix it. I’m a little bit tired guys, sorry.”
The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix semi-finals will take place on Saturday.
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