She is 33 years old and has to face career-ending questions at press conferences. Nevertheless, Petra Kvitová is experiencing one of the most successful seasons in history. Her coach and fiance in one person, Jiří Vaněk, admits that during the trip to the triumph in Miami, she stopped by the beach instead of training.
It doesn’t matter who is training her. Whether it’s a current life partner, or a newcomer to the team and fitness expert Zdeněk Kompánek. Everyone has to accept that the two-time Wimbledon champion hates training. She prefers to play match after match rather than toiling away.
“She’s honest, she trains, but it’s not like the other players’ doses. She taps, taps, and pins every now and then. When she doesn’t want to play, we tell her that it’s also a good thing that her body has decided to take a break. Then he comes to the court and plays maybe better than if we had gone to that practice,” explained Vaněk after Saturday’s victory in Miami.
It was there that Kvitová took time off, for example, after the initial tough battle with compatriot Linda Nosková.
“She didn’t play at all, she stretched out on the beach, had a good lunch. The next day, you couldn’t see it at tennis, on the contrary, she was fresher and had a taste for it,” the coach described.
The forty-four-year-old coach has been training the tennis player from Fulnek since the end of 2016, so he already knows her struggles with internal motivation very well.
“When we started, she said to me: ‘Hey, somehow get me to the quarterfinals and from the quarterfinals I want to win the whole thing. Leave it to me and I’ll do it.’ And you can see it in her, she’s changed since the quarterfinals, she doesn’t talk much at breakfast anymore, she’s more concentrated. She’s already driving in her tunnel,” said Vaněk.
In total with the event in Indian Wells, the current Czech number one won nine matches and moved back into the top ten of the ranking after two years.
“When she enjoys it, she is able to beat anyone and she will add to the training as well. It really depends on the way she sets her mind and head. I have been playing tennis for a very long time, but what Petra demonstrates sometimes blows my mind. It is something incredible , at the same time, many people no longer believed in her,” thinks the coach.
Various gadgets in the warm-up take care of the correct setting of the head before the match. “Now we’ve upgraded that we don’t just give the legs, but also throw the hands so that the hands are doing something other than the legs. Petra requires this even before the match to relax and calm down.”
And that even at the cost of the fact that Kvitová is a freak and someone is taking pictures of her while preparing for the match.
“We even took out a basketball and she started dribbling to train her wrists. And all of a sudden the service improved. Then I didn’t even believe the serving numbers. The others are looking at us a bit. Before the match, everyone was doing sprints and we’re doing our feet and dribbling,” laughs Vaněk .
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