5 Things You Should Know About Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova is probably the most-talked-about woman in tennis right now, after the mind-blowing breakthrough season, which ended yesterday with a historic Fed Cup win.
Paying a tribute to Czech’s super successful season, I have learnt 5 things about Petra Kvitova’ life that every tennis fan should know.
1. Petra played tennis for fun until she was 16
Petra started playing like many other future stars. When she was 4, she first came to the tennis courts with older brothers. As Kvitova’s family was living (and still lives there) in the town of Fulnek, with the population of about 6.000 people, Petra never though she could become a tennis pro. Though she was playing in juniors tour, she competed only in those tournaments, which were held in the Czech Republic, while her already-famous peers Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska were travelling around the world.
In one of her recent interviews, Petra admitted she was training for one hour after school, until she was discovered by tennis scouts from Prostejov, major training center for the best Czech tennis players, at the age of 16. Later that year she won two ITF tournaments, and her journey to the top of tennis world began.
The most impressive fact in Kvitova’s tennis story is not the absence of tournament practice, but the thing that the player, who already become the iconic representative of her generation, grew up naturally, without being trained in renowned academies, or with the help of fanatic parents. She paved her way to the top of the game only thanks to her enormous talent.
2. Petra if the first Grand Slam Champion, born in the 1990s
Until this season, Petra wasn’t considered one the leaders of the new generation. Though, last year she shocked the world by reaching Wimbledon semifinals, ousting Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, this was her only serious success of the year, and she was even forced to play ITF events to keep her ranking.
And while the tennis world was waiting Wozniacki to win her first Grand Slam and confirm her status of the world’s top player, Petra secured her outstanding breakthrough. By winning the Wimbledon at the age of 21, the super-talanted Czech became the youngest Grand Slam Winner since Ana Ivanovic in 2008. And the tennis fans around the world got their new young star – powerful and fearless.
In addition, Petra became the first player since Maria Sharapova to win the first Grand Slam and the WTA Championships during the same season.
3. After winning a point, Petra makes a very weird scream
In her post-point celebration Kvitova makes an unusual shriek. Contrary to many other tennis players, Petra doesn’t grunt during points, and usually reacts very calm, but when it comes to vital points, she makes a weird and loud yelp. Some say that her scream resembles “Pojd” – a Czech version of “Come On”, but it still sounds strange.
However, other players admit they don’t bother Petra’s scream, as they are used to everything, from Azarenka’s grunts, to Bartoli’s jumps or Jankovic’s chattiness.
4. Petr Wozniacki tried to lure away Kvitova’s coach
Some tennis experts say that Kvitova’s victory at Wimbledon weakened the position of Caroline Wozniacki, who is not considered the most successful tennis player of the new generation. And while a year ago everyone thought that a victory at a Grand Slam is just a matter of time for Caro, after breakneck success of Kvitova, many people turned to thinking that she will take over the lead at the top of WTA rankings early in 2012.
Moreover, Jozef Ivanko, Kvitova’s coach told reporters a curious story: “After the Wimbledon Petr Wozniacki sent me a text message, saying that he knows my contract with Petra expires at the end of this season, and he has a great project – Caroline Wozniacki Global Tennis Academy, sponsored by Roman Abramovich. The main target of the academy is to raise a champion of the Olympic Games in 2016.”
The story ended with nothing, as Ivanko refused the offer, and preferred to continue working with Petra. However, it still leaves room for imagination and discussion.
5. Kvitova is dating with an 17-years-old teen
After her Wimbledon win, the reporters found out that Kvitova is dating with a fellow Czech tennis players. However, this wasn’t 28-year old doubles specialist Lucas Dlouhi, as many suspected, but Adam Pavlasek, 16, also coached by Jozef Ivanko. He is currently playing in Juniors, and managed to reach the quarter-finals of US Open 2011, as Petra was supporting him. Then we saw him celebrating Petra’s wins in Linz and Istanbul in the player box.