Kvitova dismisses talk of Paris success

Petra Kvitova celebrates with the trophy after winning the Madrid Open final 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 against Netherlands' Kiki Bertens.
Petra Kvitova celebrates with the trophy after winning the Madrid Open final 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 against Netherlands' Kiki Bertens.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID • Petra Kvitova won the Madrid Open title for the third time on Saturday with a marathon 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 victory over Kiki Bertens but dismissed talk of her as a potential Roland Garros champion as "crazy".

Kvitova, who was also the champion in Madrid in 2011 and 2015, has now claimed four titles this season after triumphs in St Petersburg, Doha and earlier this month in Prague.

Victory on a chilly, damp night in the Spanish capital took Kvitova 2hr 51mins against a gutsy, unseeded Bertens who had knocked out former top-ranked players Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki on her way to the championship match.

In a big-hitting, roller-coaster of a final, Kvitova claimed her 24th career title on the back of 39 winners and 58 unforced errors.

"It feels sweet and weird as well," said the 28-year-old on becoming the first woman to win the Madrid title on three occasions.

"Even coming from Prague last week, I didn't think I could be in the final, winning trophies back-to-back. My body is exhausted as well, so I'm pretty surprised that my body handled it.

"Every title feels great. Winning three times here in Madrid, it means something. It's not really happening every day, so I'm very proud of myself."

After her efforts in Madrid, two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova announced she will skip this week's Italian Open in Rome.

With two of her titles this year coming on clay, Kvitova remained cautious over her chances of winning the French Open, which gets under way in Paris in a fortnight.

"It's crazy," insisted Kvitova, who has 30 wins on the WTA Tour this season - more than any other player.

"You know, I've been in a semi-final one year (2012). Probably I can play well there. But on the other hand I know how tough it is.

"Winning Prague and here, it made me very happy. On the other hand, a Grand Slam is a different story. It's different attitude, different balls."

The Czech suffered a second-round exit at the hands of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Roland Garros last year. But her 21-9 win-loss record there makes the French Open the Grand Slam event where she has had the most success outside Wimbledon.

"For me, I'm going there trying to play better than the last time," the world No. 10 added. "I don't know, I don't want to put any pressure on me in a way. I think there are maybe better players playing on the clay. We'll see what happens."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2018, with the headline 'Kvitova dismisses talk of Paris success'. Print Edition | Subscribe