Petra Kvitova: one match at a time for the former Wimbledon champion

Posted July 04, 2017

French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko battles Aliaksandra Sasnovich while the best British women are all on court with Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Laura Robson.

With no defending champion Serena Williams this year, and with Maria Sharapova pulling out of Wimbledon Qualifying after injury on her comeback, the field is wide open.

Instead, Sharapova lasted just three tournaments before a muscle injury in Rome forced the five-time major victor to withdraw from the Wimbledon qualifying tournament. "I hope with more matches, I will be better and better".

The win means so much to both Kvitova and the sport of tennis.

It was her first appearance at one of the four Grand Slams since the 2016 French Open.

Karolina Pliskova, tucked in just behind Kvitova in the market, is a viable alternative.

Her quarter - the second - has plenty of talent in it too so I'll look elsewhere.

Venus Williams and Kvitova, for different reasons, will be sentimental favorites.

"She's such a warrior to be able to just act normal, feel normal in public". Nadal unfurled some silly angles, maneuvered slickly and pushed his 2017 Grand Slam record to 14-1. But she's not of the mind to be affected by such talk. But off course, Venus is under a cloud over a auto accident in June which left a man dead.

It's a legacy the world number 12 attributes to a new outlook forced upon her by surviving the knife attack.

"I think that before I was very nervous before every match". However, she made a gutsy return to competition last month before wreaking havoc on her favourite surface grass in Birmingham a week ago. That's certainly a concern and I'd normally but put off by that. I practiced with her here and in Mallorca.

There are risky and unpredictable outsiders like the Americans CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys, and the rising Kristina Mladenovic of France.

However, the former two also have injury worries surrounding them with fifth seed Wozniacki arguably getting the worst draw of all the leading seeds.

"But then when the time, about the end of the March, 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'm glad that I'm part of the tennis family", said Kvitova.

The 25-year-old Romanian, who has never been past the semi-finals at Wimbledon, opens her campaign against Marina Erakovic.

Scars on that hand serve as a reminder of what happened, and she thinks the cream that she often rubs on her hands during changeovers - something she's long done, even before the stabbing - might help her improve her grip strength.