Istanbul Profile: Petra Kvitova
Published October 16, 2013 12:01
Highlights: Dubai, Tokyo (champion), Katowice, New Haven (runner-up)
Grand Slam Performance: Australian Open (second round), Roland Garros (third round), Wimbledon (quarterfinal), US Open (third round)
Win/Loss Record: 49-21
Record Against Top 10: 8-4
WTA Championships History: champion (2011), round robin (2012)
Following an up and down start to the season, Petra Kvitova's formidable game has really clicked into gear in the past month or so and she heads off to Istanbul as a real contender.
After a difficult end to 2012, Kvitova arrived in Australia with a few question marks surrounding her form and fitness. And she never really found her A-game Down Under, making premature exits at Brisbane, Sydney and the Australian Open.
Her razor-thin defeat to Laura Robson at Melbourne Park was particularly hard to stomach, although she bounced back well, defeating Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Sara Errani to triumph in Dubai one month later.
However, she failed to build on this momentum, falling into mid-season slumber from which she would not fully awaken until the end of summer; a runner-up finish in Katowice was the only bright spot in an otherwise lackluster clay court campaign, which was followed by an even greater disappointment at the All-England Club.
With the field decimated after a string of upsets, Kvitova was suddenly presented with a golden opportunity to reclaim the title she won two years earlier. However, despite a bright start, she wilted under the pressure in her quarterfinal against Kirsten Flipkens, eventually slipping to a three set defeat.
For much of the summer on the North American hardcourts, it appeared the Czech was still trying to get this missed opportunity out of her system, and it was not until the tour headed to the Far East that she got her mojo back.
An eight-match winning run in Tokyo and Beijing brought with it a second title of the season and the ranking points required to secure her place at the Sinan Erdem Dome for the third year in succession.
"I am so happy to qualify for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships again this year," Kvitova said. "To be among the best players in the world means a lot, especially after a tough start to this year. I'm so excited to return to Istanbul for the final year of the Champs there and looking forward to playing in front of the Turkish fans. I hope to continue my recent good form and play my best tennis there."