The one thing you always look for in a young player is their mental strength and fighting qualities. This week (as if it wasn’t obvious before), Petra Kvitova passed that test with flying colours. Yesterday, we watched as she fought back from match point down to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in straight sets, and today it was a similar story as she fought back from Wickmayer’s *5-4 30-0 lead to again take the match on a tiebreaker.
It was a pretty interesting match. Not always the greatest quality in the world, but still entertaining. Wickmayer looked to have the upper hand at the beginning, and it became pretty obvious early on that Petra wasn’t a big fan of the lightning-fast surface. I think it’s more a preference issue rather than a technical one though, as she has easily one of the most technically sound sets of strokes on the tour. But it was bothering her. On the other side of the court, Wickmayer was doing the usual – hitting the ball as hard as she possibly can. The thing about Wickmayer is that though she is aggressive and everything, there is something lacking in her game and strokes, And even when she worked her way all the way up to *5-4 30-0 in the third, you just knew that the match was on Petra’s racket and she could still turn it around.
And turn it around, she did.
One thing I’ve noticed recently is that though Petra is a great girl with a brilliant game, everyone seems to be up in arms over her constant screams of “Pojd” (the Czech variant of ‘C’mon’) AKA “the bark”. It certainly is disturbingly high-pitched, theatrical and downright annoying. But anytime I see or hear people talking about it, my mind always wanders back to when Maria spoke some of the other player, saying that for a lot of the players who pump themselves up, and really just they are just doing it for show. But then you look at Petra, and you look at some of her results over the last year, and it’s clear that she isn’t one of those players. Nobody comes back from the brink of defeat two days in a row and nobody fights back from 0-4* down in the third set of a Wimbledon quarterfinal, saving match points, without believing in and meaning everything they do on court. Nobody.
Also, that is a pretty epic match point there. It really highlights just how much Petra has improved her movement and fitness. There’s no way she would’ve reached that just a year ago. Meanwhile, Yanina is classy as ever in the handshake.