Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Petra Kvitova fired up for more Slam glory

Back on big stage: Former champion Petra Kvitova will face Eugenie Bouchard in today's Wimbledon final

Petra Kvitova will attempt to turn around her fortunes and win the Wimbledon title for a second time when she meets Eugenie Bouchard in today's final.

Czech Kvitova, the 24-year-old sixth seed, has not reached a Grand Slam final since she beat Maria Sharapova to win the Wimbledon title in 2011.

Although presenting a more relaxed personality than her opponent, she knows Bouchard has yet to drop a set in the championships.

"I think Bouchard is playing a very solid game. She's a very good mover," Kvitova said.

"She plays from near the baseline. It's very similar to my game.

"I think it's going to be a tough battle," added Kvitova.

"Both of us want to win. It's just going to depend on which of us wants to win more."

The last step to major success can come suddenly and is not always easy to deal with.

Kvitova admits she struggled to adapt to her new status as a champion after 2011.

"It was wonderful to win, but I wasn't really used to the attention after that," she added.

"It was everywhere. It was a big surprise for me that I was in the newspapers and everything. It was not easy.

"I needed to change a little bit myself. It took a lot of energy from me," she explained.

Bouchard is already on the front of the papers in Britain, Canada and elsewhere.

Bouchard is the form player, Kvitova more experienced and marginally better server.

Picking a winner is difficult, but whoever it is will have to work harder to win than Marion Bartoli did last year.

On paper, as a former champion and the No 6 seed, Kvitova is the favourite to win a second title.

Greater experience should stand her in good stead but whether she can handle the pressure of being favourite is in doubt.

Unlike 20-year-old Bouchard, who seems to revel in the spotlight, Kvitova is much happier among friends and family.

"I'm working more on my mental side to be prepared for the match," she added.

"(After I won) I expected too much from myself.

"I probably thought that I needed to win any match I played after that because I'm a Grand Slam champion and everybody was expecting from me just the best.

"It's not all like that. Now I'm feeling good, relaxed. Of course, I know that the pressure will be there but that's not important."

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