The organisers of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships must be keeping their fingers crossed ahead of the two-week event that starts with the women’s week on February 17. One of the biggest draws and the tournament’s defending champion Petra Kvitova is still recovering from virosis and in an exclusive interview to XPRESS, the 2011 Wimbledon champion reveals why she is desperate to be fit for Dubai.
“I was meant to take a wild card into Paris, but unfortunately I had to pull out with a sore throat and headache and have been recovering since then back home in the Czech Republic. I will not play Fed Cup for my country either,” the 23-year-old said.
“I am still recovering from my illness so my health is obviously a long way from being 100 per cent right now. But I will play Doha the week before so hopefully I can get some matches under my belt before coming to defend my title,” she added.
Kvitova reached the semi-finals in Sydney earlier this year but more than anything it was the view from the Sydney Sky-walk that she enjoyed the most.
“It was a lot of fun actually. We don’t normally get time to do these things so when the tournament offered, I took the opportunity. It was nice to see the city from above and get some perspective! We normally only see the tennis courts and hotel,” she said, adding that she hopes to do the same in Dubai as well.
“I didn’t get to do much around the city unfortunately, just went to some nice restaurants for dinner. Dubai is beautiful city and I would like to see it properly one day when I have time.”
An incredible season in 2011 not only saw Kvitova win Wimbledon, but also the year-end championships in Istanbul as she moved to No. 2 in the world rankings. And it’s little wonder that she again has the year-end championships in Singapore in her sights.
“The Championships is always a big goal for me at the end of the year. I have made it there for the last three years in Turkey so I hope to be there again as I have heard really good things about Singapore,” the world No. 6 said.
And with that in mind, she is working on parts of her game that she believes need improvement.
“I have been working on my fitness a lot during the off-season, specifically my movement around the court and also on my serve. When I am serving well, it makes a big difference to the rest of my game,” she said.