WIMBLEDON, England - Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says barring any further complications, she's ready to start her tournament on Tuesday against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur.
The 29-year-old was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros due to a left forearm injury she sustained during practice in Paris and subsequently withdrew from her only grass court event before Wimbledon at the Nature Valley Classic in Eastbourne.
"My arm is getting better," Kvitova told reporters at Media Day. "[Unless] anything bad happens, I'm ready to play on Tuesday, but hopefully nothing really happens."
Needless to say, the injury has come at a tough time for Kvitova, who is in the midst of another stand-out season, winning two titles (Brisbane, Stuttgart) and making her first major final in five years at the Australian Open in January. The Czech admitted her recovery has not progressed as quickly as she had hoped.
"Maybe if it was just a normal week, I [would] take one more extra week [off], but then I think it's fine," Kvitova said.
"I had a few tests [after Paris]. It's improved, but not as much as I wanted. So I have to be really very careful with everything.
"I just couldn't do anything for a couple of weeks. I was very pleased when I could do something very easy with my left hand, like drinking or something like that. It was kind of back to two years ago," she said, referring to her recovery from severe lacerations to her left hand following a violent attack in her home in December 2016.
"The racquet I just [picked up] a few days ago. I couldn't really hit much. If I have a pain, I'm stopping immediately, but so far it's okay."
A champion in 2011 and 2014, Kvitova returns to her favorite Slam with expectations tempered. After making the quarterfinals or better from 2010 to 2014, the Czech has not progressed past the third round since. Last year, after a pitch-perfect lead-up that included a successful title defense in Birmingham, she took a tough first-round loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
"I just hit for the first time today maybe a little bit more than normal, and it was okay," Kvitova said. "But, of course, my expectations are not really high.
"Maybe this can help me, as well, to be more relaxed on the court. You know me. Sometimes when I go there and play, the expectations came and suddenly I cannot put the ball in.
"We'll see how everything will go. Like now, of course, I'm relaxed. I'm not really happy that I didn't have my best preparation what I could have for the grass season.
"I think from the past I learn a lot about me. Sometimes I don't really have to hit for so many hours to be prepared."