Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said she finds “a particular inspiration” in fellow tennis great Monica Seles.
“No words needed” as to why that is, she tweeted after the two southpaws met at the WTA Tour’s Tennis on the Themes event on June 28.
Each has overcome unthinkable obstacles, both physical and emotional, to solidify rightful places in the sport’s history. Each fell victim to violent stabbing attacks when in the prime of her career.
Then representing Yugoslavia, her birthplace, Seles reached the Wimbledon championship round in 1992, falling to Steffi Graf. She would not return to the final again in her career after suffering a knife wound and the accompanying psychological trauma months before before the following year’s tournament.
Kvitova, winner of the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon crowns, has remained a cautious optimist in London.
“It’s not 100 percent, will never be 100 percent,” she said of her hand, which was badly injured during a home robbery in 2016. “I do have some limitation. I’m just trying not to think negatively, but still saying I’m happy I do have my fingers. I probably wish it’s a bit better. Overall, I’m very happy.”
“I don’t really feel as a favorite of Wimbledon,” Kvitova added, perhaps drumming up the times that Rafael Nadal has said he is not a favorite in a major event.
Certainly Kvitova has experienced enough pressure in the past two years. Maybe it can be that “one round at a time” is a more-than-fine cliche for her this fortnight.