ISTANBUL, Turkey - Petra Kvitova, who went all the way to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships title undefeated a year ago, has had to pull out of this year's tournament after one round robin match due to a viral illness.
Kvitova, who suffered a straight set to defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska in her first round robin match on Tuesday, held a press conference on Wednesday.
"I'm really sad to withdraw from the tournament," Kvitova said. "It's a great tournament and it was an honor to be here. It was very nice to step on the court yesterday and feel the Turkish crowd supporting me. It was really special to me. I hope I can come back next year again. I've never withdrawn from a tournament, this is the first time for me. I don't like to give up, so I'm really disappointed.
"I hope that Sam will win some matches for me."
A day earlier, Kvitova said her fingers and legs weren't moving during her first match, saying she thought it was nerves. "Yesterday when I played I thought I was nervous, but normally nerves are gone after the first set, and it was actually happening during all the match. I was shaking all match and wasn't feeling very well. My stomach felt funny. After one rally with Agnieszka I couldn't breathe.
"So I thought there was probably something wrong."
Kvitova will return home to the experts. "I'll find out exactly what it is tonight probably. I'll go to the doctor in Prostejov and find out. But I think it's a lot of things. I have a sore throat from this morning. I know if I'm not 100% ready to compete with these girls on this level, I can't play. That's why I'm withdrawing."
Samantha Stosur, who is fresh off her second WTA final of the year in Moscow, will step in and play Kvitova's other two round robin matches, and does actually have a chance of qualifying for the semifinals here this week.
"Obviously it's never good when a player pulls out, but I will make the best of the opportunity and look forward to playing tomorrow," Stosur said. "I came to Istanbul straight from Moscow where I played on Sunday, so I got here late, so obviously it is a little bit strange to come here straight after playing a tournament as an alternate and now get a chance to play in the WTA Championships. But this is my third time playing this event and I'm really happy to be in Istanbul."