Petra Kvitova Becomes First Big US Open Casualty
August 30, 2011
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Six or so weeks ago at Wimbledon, we revelled in complete shock and awe at Petra Kvitovaâ€™s stunning performance throughout the fortnight. We all expected a massive letdown, but it never came and she stormed to the title - not even challenged in the two matches she dropped sets in.
A month and a half later and, itâ€™s all the complete opposite. Since Wimbledon and her self-enforced break and recovery, Petra has won a mere two matches before twice coming up against Andrea Petkovic and twice getting completely demolished. We all thought that was poor and disappointing, but Kvitova this week things have only got worse, with Kvitova losing in easily the most abysmal fashion to Alexandra Dulgheru, a bonafide claycourt specialist.
So, whatâ€™s going on? Is Kvitova simply a grasscourt/fastcourt specialist with no chance anywhere else? Are we seeing history repeat itself yet another Ivanovic-type meltdown with Kvitova struggling to come to terms with her newfound status and crumbling under the pressure? Or is this simply Kvitova being Kvitova? The asthma?
The answer is both yes and no on all accounts. A no in the sense that it would be silly to put the blame one one single thing for her abysmal form since Wimbledon; she certainly is an inconsistent player and certainly more at home on grass than anywhere else. However itâ€™s easy to forget that before the US Open series, her win-loss record for the season was 39-6 - impressive by any standards, and hardly one of a player often charged with being unable to string two tournaments together. She is the only player to have won titles on all surfaces in 2011 and along with Sharapova, was the only player to make the fourth round or better of all three previous slams in 2011.
But all are certainly contributing factors to Kvitovaâ€™s recent form, and itâ€™s going to be up to her and her team to sort out those problems before it escalates from simply a run of poor form into a whole new crisis. And letâ€™s hope they do, because the ‘tennisâ€™ (and I use that word lightly) she produced yesterday was not pleasant in the slightest.