DOHA, QATAR - The statistics surrounding Petra Kvitova's 13-match unbeaten streak are stunning standing alone. That she has put together one of her best runs of play just over 13 months after her future in the sport was left uncertain after being attacked in her home is flat-out astounding.
Kvitova moved her record to 14-2 this season, after navigating a tough draw to win the Qatar Total Open. En route to her 22nd title, Kvitova defeated No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 3 Elina Svitolina, No.4 Garbiñe Muguruza, No.10 Julia Goerges, and Agnieszka Radwanska, and moved her exemplary record in tournament finals to 22-7. After winning her first title of the season two weeks ago at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, Kvitova has now won back-to-back titles for the first time since 2011 and will return to the Top 10 on Monday for the first time since June 2016.
With her Doha run, Kvitova's record against Top 10 opposition in 2018 is now 6-0 and she will surge up the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard to No.4. Not too shabby for a woman who started the season at No.29.
Kvitova joined the WTA Insider Podcast after her Doha triumph to reflect on her stunning three-week run and reflect on how she was able to set aside exhaustion, a change in conditions, and her incredibly tough draws in St. Petersburg and Doha, to take her place in the Top 10.
Listen to Kvitova's full interview below:
WTA Insider: What are you most proud of during your three-week unbeaten run?
Kvitova: To hear all the statistics is incredible for me. After seven years to have two titles in a row, plus Fed Cup, it's really great for me. I think it was really worth it to take a wildcard into St. Petersburg as I see it now.
I'm proud of almost everything. To transition from indoor to outdoor, the conditions are totally different. I lost the first set to Aga in the second round and I thought, well I'm done here. I couldn't really move anymore. I don't know how, but I turned it around. Probably the experience from that match gave me a little bit something more in the match against Caroline and Garbiñe today. I had great matches here and it's just great.
WTA Insider: Has it all been a blur? How much of it feels like it's happened so fast or does it feel like it's been three long weeks?
Kvitova: It feels pretty long, but on the other hand it's probably good that I didn't have to practice that much (laughs). It's maybe not good for my coach but he's happy to sit in the box and support me.
It wasn't easy flights, the traveling. I didn't spend time at home. Even during Fed Cup I stayed with my team in the hotel, so I really miss home. Overall it was great. I'm pretty happy we won the Fed Cup. It was pretty tough against Switzerland. I was pretty exhausted as well.
Sometimes I think it's good because everything happened day by day, so fast, and you don't have time to think about anything more. So sometimes I feel like I was coming to the match and I didn't have those nerves that I normally have. Even today, even though the start was not great, I was feeling a little bit empty physically, mentally. Then when the match is starting and you hear the crowd and you're losing 5-0, and you're like 'Oh boy, hopefully, it's not that quick.'
I just found something inside. I don't know, I thought I was going to lose the final today. Not before the match, but during the match, especially the first set, I thought ok, maybe my statistics in the finals is going to drop a little bit. That's ok. I was thinking of the Top 10 as well. I thought ok, I won't be in the Top 10 today. But hopefully someday. So I was calming myself down, which in the end was good. The nerves came in the end, for sure. It was not easy serving in that wind. It's great.
WTA Insider: It seems to be a trend with you. You're one of those players who likes to play the week before a Slam. It seems like you don't want to think too much, you don't want to practice a couple of hours and go home. It seems that routine helps you.
Kvitova: I don't know. Maybe with the time, with my age, it will change a little bit. I don't know how my body will respond and everything. Hopefully, I will be injury free but you never know.
Sometimes practicing is tiring for me and you have too much time to think about what you're doing during practice. But when you play a match you have different things to think. You're just trying to play the best of course. On the other hand, if you're playing bad it's no great before Slams. It's tough to find a balance and pick the best option.
WTA Insider: You mentioned that match against Radwanska a few times this week. Three times this week you dropped the first set and then came back to win. We've seen P3tra again. Which is fun for your team, I'm sure. Why was that particular match so significant? It seems like that was the match that maybe turned your mind around here in Doha.
Kvitova: I don't think my team is happy with P3tra. I lost the first set and I think my coach is a little bit empty as well. I think he's tired (laughs). In the end, everything ended up well so hopefully they are happy.
Tough to say. I played three sets in Fed Cup as well. I lost the second set but I was able to get the win. But here it's a little bit different because I lost the first set against Radwanska and I thought I was better in that set and I still lost it. It wasn't really easy to come back and play point by point.
I think that helped me afterward because I didn't think I played great, but it's something that gave me confidence because even though I didn't play great I won it somehow, which sometimes is very important in those tournaments. That was probably in my mind yesterday and today.
WTA Insider: How good do you think you're actually playing? If I were to say to you are you playing at Peak Petra, I'm guessing you would say no.
Kvitova: I think no, exactly as you said. It's tough to play the best in these conditions that we had in Doha. Overall I found a way to win. I don't know how but I did. I didn't go to the volleys as much I probably should, maybe if we're playing indoors or somewhere else. I think I moved ok. I don't think I had too many unforced errors in the long matches.
The answer is no, for sure. Hopefully, the peak will come one day.
WTA Insider: Based on everything you've done you're up to No.4 in the Porsche Race to Singapore. You look a little bit stunned by that.
Kvitova: Yeah. I didn't really know that. I was happy to be in Top 10, that's what I knew. It's a good number, No.4.
But the season is very long so I'm not really thinking of that. The WTA Finals, it's the last year in Singapore, it would be great if I"m there, but I'm not putting much pressure on it. I'm just trying to enjoy my tennis, as I did during the 13 matches and we'll see how everything plays out.