Petra Kvitova column: 'Surprise' at performance, slower grass & plans for day off

Petra Kvitova column

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who has won 27 singles titles on the WTA Tour, is writing a column for the BBC Sport website during the championships at the All England Club.

The 29-year-old Czech, who had not played since pulling out of the French Open in May with an arm injury, beat Tunisian Ons Jabeur 6-4 6-2 in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

I'm taking away a lot of positive things from my win over Ons Jabeur - I'm pleased with how I played and I surprised myself as well.

I had only hit for three hours in the past five weeks since I had to pull out of the French Open because of the tear in my left forearm.

During my warm-up I thought 'OK, it's fine' but you never know what will happen in the match. The body gets more tired and you're just going full power and the adrenalin is in there. So I was a bit worried before my match, definitely.

During the match I sometimes thought about my arm, like 'it's fine' or 'what's going on there?' but most of the time when you are seeing the ball coming pretty fast, you don't really have time to think about it.

My serve also surprised me, it helped me a lot and it hadn't been great in practice. It's also good that I only had to play two sets.

But now my arm is going to be sore tomorrow so I'm going to have a day off.

Petra Kvitova celebrates
Two days ago Kvitova didn't know if she would be fit enough to play at Wimbledon and says her great performance in the first round was a 'bonus'

'No shopping for me tomorrow - well, ok, maybe online!'

I'm definitely not doing any hitting on Wednesday but I will do some fitness work.

I will do some exercises and have some treatment on my body, especially on the arm. So the work is still there but just not with the racquet or the ball.

I have hit three days in a row so my arm is just a bit tired - I just need a day off to get back to work. I will get a massage tonight. Maybe some mobilisation on my back, release everything so my arm doesn't have to do anything.

I will put ice on it, some cream on it during the night, I will do everything on it!

I'm also going to sleep a lot probably - well, try at least! We'll go for some dinner, maybe I'll watch a movie or read a book. I don't think I'll go shopping - maybe just online shopping!

Maybe I'll just go for a walk in Wimbledon village. Sometimes I get recognised but people are very polite so it's nice.

'Grass is playing slower here this year'

Like some other players, I have noticed that the grass is playing slower here than in previous years, especially on the match courts.

The Aorangi practice courts are a little bit faster than the match courts.

For me, it's not great - I like it faster with the type of game plan I have.

The slower grass means the rallies are a little bit longer, it's not really serve and volley anymore. We're not seeing it, not even on the men's side. Maybe Roger Federer is still playing like that, which is nice to see.

The players who are not really playing that fast can still do well in the tournament.

'Win has not changed my expectations'

Petra Kvitova and Kristina Mladenovic shake hands in Madrid
Kvitova beat her next Wimbledon opponent, Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic, 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in the second round in Madrid in May

My expectations for the tournament have not changed at all despite the win.

Every match the pain could come back and that will mean 'stop' for me.

It's really tough to think like that - maybe you're going to play well and then suddenly you feel the pain. So hopefully that will not happen to me, I need to stay positive.

I can't really have high expectations even though I played a good match today. We'll see how it goes in the next match when I play against Kristina Mladenovic in the second round on Thursday.

I'm not sure how well she is playing on grass but the main thing is that I know I'm playing well on grass.

Petra Kvitova was speaking to BBC Sport's Sonia Oxley at Wimbledon

Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.Full details

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