Back in March, when Petra Kvitova announced her decision to withdraw from the two Premier tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, it seemed a strange decision, especially since the Czech cited exhaustion as the reason.
Strange because you do not expect a player to be exhausted just two months into the season, but Kvitova was.
“Playing tennis for me has always meant doing something I love, and doing it with a lot of passion, but from the start of the year I just didn’t have that,” Kvitova told the BBC last month. “I was so empty. I didn’t always feel physically bad, I was able to play, but I wasn’t there 100 per cent.”
The suggestion to take time out apparently came from her coach David Kotyza, via a text message, as she flew to Doha after losing in the third round in Dubai in February. Kvitova spent four days contemplating before making her decision and, if her performance in winning the Madrid title last week is any indication, she had probably made the right choice.
Kvitova did not touch her tennis racquet for four weeks, spending the first 10 days of that break on a beach, and the rest has certainly worked for her. The world No 4 handed Serena Williams her first defeat of 2015 in the semi-finals in Madrid to bring the American’s 27-match winning streak to an end.
It was Kvitova’s first ever win over Williams in six matches and it bodes well for the coming months. Rested and refreshed, the Czech will be gunning for more.
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