Since the last column, it has been a pretty good time to be a Petra Kvitova fan! After a disappointing clay court season, Kvitova took a loss to Beatriz Haddad Maia in R1 of the Birmingham tournament – a tournament Petra has won twice – the omens were not good. What an absolute joy then that she entered the WTA 500 event in Eastbourne and won her 29th title in amazing style!
Petra beat Donna Vekic, Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart, Beatriz Haddad Maia (revenge for Birmingham) and Jelena Ostapenko (revenge for Dubai). After dropping the opening set to Boulter, Petra didn’t lose her serve again in the tournament. It was that serve and also her return of serve that made the difference. Petra played her best tennis in a very long time and that 29th title which seemed a long shot for us fans, was secured in style. To see Petra playing well and dominating the field again.. pure joy! (Plus I got a selfie with her in Birmingham, so a good month or so!)
Petra entered Wimbledon 2022 with many paying attention to her as a potential champion once again. Unfortunately her adventure ended in the third round where she lost a tight match to the 4th seed Paula Badosa on Centre Court. Petra has since revealed the wrist inflammation that hampered her in the early part of the year was back and she had played Eastbourne and Wimbledon on painkillers. However, after a mediocre 2022, this grass season has been a beacon for Petra fans.
Meanwhile, the WTA tour has been all about Iga Swiatek. The likable 21 year old Pole won 37 matches in a row, including her second Roland Garros title, before losing out to the experienced Alize Cornet in the third round at Wimbledon. Iga is a junior Wimbledon champion, but never looked as comfortable on grass and was well beaten, however, a truly remarkable achievement.
Barbora Krejcikova fans have had to be more patient. Barbora’s elbow injury meant she crashed out of Roland Garros as the defending champion in round 1 and she was forced to withdraw from the doubles where she was also defending champion a few days later, after contracting COVID. She also made her return on grass in Eastbourne, but lost a tight first match to tne talented youngster, Marta Kostyuk. Like Petra, she made it to the third round at Wimbledon, before losing to Ajla Tomljanovic, after leading by a set and a break. It wasn’t a bad performance from Barbora, but both these losses showed she is not back to the match toughness required. However, in more great news, she and doubles partner, Kateřina Siniaková took the ladies’ doubles at Wimbledon, after some tough battles that will no doubt be helpful for Krejcikova to get back her singles form. This is the pair’s second slam of the season and 5th overall.
By far their biggest test was in the quarter final where Perez and Melchior dominated them in the first set before the Czechs battled back. Fabulous gritty win and it was pretty much plain saiing from there.
The other big news for Krejcikova was finally a new clothing sponsor after a year in pretty much the same Head outfit. Barbora appeared in her new Fila gear at Roland Garros and got a win in it at Wimbledon.