Petra Kvitova put her recent Australian Open woes behind her to make it safely into the second round with a straight set win over qualifier Richel Hogenkamp on Tuesday.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - Petra Kvitova put her recent Australian Open woes behind her to make it safely into the second round with a straight set win over qualifier Richel Hogenkamp on Tuesday.

In her past two visits to Melbourne Park, Kvitova had won just one match, last year falling victim to arguably the shock of the tournament, losing to Luksika Kumkhum in the first round.

There were few signs of nerves early on, the No.4 seed taking just six minutes to rattle through the first three games, and while she was unable to keep up this pace, the first set was soon safely in the bag.

But, making her Grand Slam debut, World No.138 Hogenkamp had no intention of going quietly. Indeed, having wrestled back an early break, she even briefly threatened to force a decider, before Kvitova finally conquered any lingering nerves to triumph, 6-1, 6-4.

"During the match and during the waiting time this morning, it wasn't really easy for me to handle it. So I'm glad that I did better than the last year," Kvitova said. "Of course, I mean, the nerves were there. It was really difficult to handle it and I was still feeling the tightness and the legs were suddenly so heavy and I couldn't really move.

"It was difficult, but I'm glad I did it. That's important."

On Monday, the bottom half of the draw was blown wide open as eight seeds exited the tournament. And after her recent struggles in Melbourne, Kvitova knows just what Ana Ivanovic and company are going through.

"I saw yesterday many of the other seeded players went out," she added. "Of course, it stays in your mind and it's always difficult. I know how it is. I lost first round last year. I really know how the girls are feeling, so it's not easy. But that's the sport."