Struggling Kvitova seeks match practice to get her rhythm back

 22 Feb 2016 - 0:00

Struggling Kvitova seeks match practice to get her rhythm back

DOHA: Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (pictured left) is desperately seeking proper match practice for a turnaround in fortunes in what has been a difficult start for her in the 2016 season. 

The 25-year-old lost in the second round at the Australian Open before losing both of her Fed Cup matches earlier this month. 
The 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion retired from her only match at the Shenzen Open last month.
“I’m missing (playing) the matches. I think that’s important for me to get the confidence from match practice,” Kvitova said yesterday. 
“Practices are great, but I just need to put it to the match,” she said as she prepared for his first match at this week’s Qatar Total Open.
“That’s why I was struggling from the beginning of the year. That, I think, is the main reason (for the lack of form),” Kvitova said.
“As I said, practices are great. I just need to really be focusing and playing well in matches,” Kvitova said.
“I think it’s the (lack of match) practice. That’s why I’m playing doubles, to get a little bit of the rhythm,” she said.
Kvitova will partner Barbora Strycova in the doubles this week. 
The tall Czech player said tennis-wise she was feeling good but she needed ‘to improve the mental side’ of her game’. 
Kvitoa is happy with the weather digits this week, saying Doha presents a good atmosphere to kick start her Qatar Total Open campaign.
“I like coming back to Doha for sure. I feel this years it’s more warm than last year, which is good. For the night matches it was kind of cold. So I’m glad it’s great and we have a little bit of suntan,” shei said.
“I feel good here again,” she added.
When asked about the late withdrawals of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, Kvitova said: “About the withdrawals, I don’t think (that) really changes something on the draw. It’s still a strong field. I just don’t think it will affect any kind of big matches.”
Meanwhile, the rising Swiss star Belinda Bencic (pictured right) is thrilled to have made her debut in the top-10. 
“Of course I’m very pleased to be in the top-10. It’s a dream come true for sure,” Bencici said. “I’ve worked very hard for this and I have finally reached it and this kind of relaxes me a little bit. I’m just enjoying to have this status,” she added.
Bencic,18, said she approaches her matches and practice session in the same manner as did a few years ago.
“No, I’m just preparing the same as normal. If you are No. 11 or No.7, (that) doesn’t change your tennis. (I) try to do everything (in) the same (way). (I) try to win as many matches as possible and (I am) happy I reached the top-10,” Bencic said yesterday.
“For me, (opponents) don’t matter as I just try to focus on myself. I will have some more practice here and so that I feel good for my first match,” she said.
Melanie Molitor, mother of Martina Hingis, is Bencic’s ‘biggest influence’.
“Yeah, she’s been like the biggest influence on my game. She taught me everything that I know. She was very first coach and, yeah, technically she’s brought me to the highest level,” Bencic said. 
“I feel like if I do the things she tells me to do, I can really reach far,” Bencic said.
“I always feel good practicing with her. It’s tough week, tough days, but when I go to the tournament, it’s always very good. I play with confidence,” she said. “She really doesn’t make compromises. She doesn’t tell you ‘you are so great’. She tells you the truth, and I think that’s the best thing that can happen to a young player,” Bencic said.
When asked about her Grand Slam ambitions, Bencic said: “I think it’s a big step to win a Grand Slam. I still think it’s impossible to win the Grand Slam when you’re 16 nowadays, or 17, 18. Yeah, we will see.” The Peninsula