BELEK, Turkey - World No.3 Petra Kvitova has just wrapped up an intense two-week training block in Belek, Turkey, focusing on her fitness training ahead of the clay and grass court season, one of her best parts of the year.
Last year, Kvitova went 20-2 in four WTA tournaments in the clay and grass court season, winning Madrid, reaching the fourth round of Roland Garros, reaching the final of Eastbourne and winning her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. Now she will fly home to the Czech Republic and after the Fed Cup tie in Ostrava next week, she will begin her clay court season in Stuttgart.
Here are some of Kvitova's afterthoughts on the Turkish training block...
What have you been working on specifically?
"I need to improve my fitness a lot. I have a lot of space to improve every part of my fitness and after I struggled with illness in February, I needed to take this step. I am trying to get faster and stronger. We are running a lot in the sand, long distance too, doing some hill running and also we spend a lot of time in the gym. I am exhausted every evening, but hopefully it's worth it."
What has been a typical day?
"In the morning we have a relaxed breakfast and then around 11am we start the first section, which depends - sometimes it's running in the sand, working with medicine balls or training in the gym with weights. Then we have lunch and rest for three hours. Around 4pm we start training again - mostly long distance - and then I can play tennis finally! The end of the day is more relaxed. We have a massage or maybe visit the spa, then dinner and finally to bed."
Are you feeling fit and injury free?
"Unfortunately I had a small problem with my stomach muscle, but nothing serious... I can still do all the important exercises. I feel tired right now but I hope that my fitness will show in the upcoming tournaments."
Why is fitness so important to you as a player?
"To win close matches with the best players, I have to be fit. Close matches can be decided by very small things and one is fitness. I need to reach more balls and be able to play longer matches to stay at the top of the sport."
What is your schedule like for the next few weeks?
"When I get back to the Czech Republic we have Fed Cup at home in Ostrava. Then I play Stuttgart, a week off and then big tournaments in Madrid and Rome. I'm looking forward to playing matches again and also to playing on clay again!"