Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova had the perfect preparation to Wimbledon with a win in Birmingham, but is keeping expectations grounded ahead of the year's third major.
WTA Staff

LONDON, Great Britain - Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova does not see herself as the odds on favorite for the upcoming Championships, Wimbledon, despite being one of just two former winners of the tournament in this year's women's draw.

"I think we still do have a great players in the draw, even Serena is not playing," the Czech said in pre-tournament press on Saturday. "I mean, I think it's a few favorites of the tournament, but it's very open - so who knows who's going to win."

The Czech's comeback from a hand injury sustained in a home invasion has been well-documented this summer, and she won the title at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham in just her second tournament back in June.

Despite having two Venus Rosewater Dishes in her trophy cabinet, Kvitova had never before won a warmup tournament to Wimbledon in her career.

"I 'm still surprised how I played in my second event after my comeback," Kvitova said. "I think the grass always giving me extra confidence. I know I can play well on it. Through the tournament, I felt like every round I played better and better, which is always good sign. It's tough to say the percentage, what my level is of my game. As I said in Birmingham, [it] was going up. You never know how you going to wake up in the next morning. So I will see how I wake up on Monday.

"It's my first goal to go try to play my best in the first round. I think that I still do have things to improve, which I really wanted to do, to be back in the best level, if I can say - [I] will try to be better than that."

Petra Kvitova, Wimbledon practice (Getty)

Kvitova will play Swedish No.1 and World No.53 Johanna Larsson in her first match at Wimbledon. More at home on clay, Larsson has never won a singles match in her career at Wimbledon, having lost in the first round six times.

"I played Johanna last year Indian Wells. She's very good [at] serving, [and has] a big forehand. I think from backhand, she has a good touch on the slice, having good dropshots," Kvitova said of the Swede. "She's playing little bit different compared to other girls. That will be the key probably, just to keep my serve and try to break her."

With French Open quarterfinalist and No.21 seed Carolina Garcia as her projected third round opponent, and home favorite and No.6 seed Johanna Konta anchoring the quarter of the draw, Kvitova continues to keep her expectations measured as she sets foot on the London lawns for the 10th time.

Petra Kvitova, Wimbledon practice (Getty)

"[Winning Birmingham] doesn't raise my expectation coming to Wimbledon," she said. "It's a long time when I didn't play. Yeah, I'm playing okay in the last month, but I'm still missing the matches. It's something what I can't really train. It just come automatically.

"I'm happy that I have a five matches in Birmingham, but, for me, it sounds little bit weird, some of the people are saying that I'm kind of one of the favorites of the tournament even I didn't play five, six months. It just sounds weird."

Kvitova has not reached the second week at the All-England Club since winning the title in 2014 - having lost in the third round in her title defense to Jelena Jankovic and in the second round last year to Ekaterina Makarova.

"About the end of the March, [when] I took the racquet for the first time to my hand, I was starting to think I would love to be back in Wimbledon....I feel great here. It feels like my second home. It always brings me lot of nice memories."
Petra Kvitova on Wimbledon

As the No.11 seed in the bottom half of the draw, Kvitova will get her campaign at the All-England Club underway on Monday.

"It was my dream to come here to play. That was the goal of my recovery. I'm here. I will, hopefully nothing happen, stand on the court and play again here in my favorite place. That means everything."

All photos courtesy of Getty Images.