ROLAND GARROS, France - Petra Kvitova firmly dismissed any doubts over her form with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over World No.86 Julia Boserup on the first day of play at Roland Garros.
In a wide open Roland Garros draw, perhaps the most significant question mark was regarding the No.15 seed's form. Kvitova's recovery from the severe injuries to her left hand that she sustained in a home invasion in December is one of the most heartwarming stories of the tournament - but she had only confirmed her participation in the draw on Friday, and there were few indications as to the level of her trademark power and shotmaking.
"This match was special to me, I won for the second time, if I can say that," she said. "It was a nice and really heartwarming welcome.
"My team was there. My family was there. Everyone who helped me through the difficult time. So it was a real pleasure to play in front of them and play how I played. I think I played well after six months off. I'm happy with the game, of course, but I mean, it wasn't really about the game today."
The Czech player answered all those questions about her form swiftly. The first point of her comeback was a classic one-two punch, and she quickly leapt out to a 3-0 lead in a flurry of winners - 11 in the first 15 minutes alone.
In the first set, Kvitova struck a total of nineteen blazing winners and won on each of her five forays to the net. Initially overwhelmed by her opponent's sharpness and power, Boserup fended off three break points to hold in the fourth game, but though she settled into her rhythm on serve, she was unable to make inroads into the Czech's serve as Kvitova fired down seven aces.
In the second set, the No.15 seed continued where she left off, displaying beautiful touch on the dropshot to break Boserup immediately. A brief rain shower wasn't enough to halt her momentum as she eased towards the finishing line, notching up nine aces and 31 winners in total.
"Yesterday I was thinking how everything will be and I couldn't really imagine how it was going to be," said Kvitova.
"I maybe thought that I would cry when I stepped on the court, but I didn't today, which I was happy about, because normally I can control my emotion on the court, so I'm happy that I kind of did it, as well, this time.
"In the end, I didn't have to. So, yeah, a few tears for after the match point. Of course, going as a winner from the center court was much better than stepping on the court."