Wimbledon: Pressure is off now for champion Kvitova

Petra Kvitova parades the winner's trophy on Saturday.
Petra Kvitova parades the winner's trophy on Saturday.
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Petra Kvitova is thrilled to have proved she is no one-hit wonder.

The Czech produced a stunning performance in the Wimbledon final on Saturday to defeat Eugenie Bouchard 6-3 6-0, lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish again three years after first holding it aloft.

In 2011, Kvitova was the underdog but convincingly saw off Maria Sharapova to announce herself as a major new star of the women’s game.

But being thrust into the limelight as a shy 21-year-old proved too much to cope with, and inconsistency and doubt crept into her mind.

With her run at SW19, which included a very tough three-set win over Venus Williams in the third round, Kvitova proved the excitement about her three years ago was not misplaced.

“I’m enjoying it more than my first one,” she said. “That time I didn’t know how to feel and how everything was going to be, and it was a surprise to me.

“This time I’m so satisfied. I think it’s more special for me that I can win it again. It was a lot of work and nobody really believed that I can play my best again and win another grand slam. I’m just glad I’m here again.”

Kvitova’s huge weapons, in particular her serve and forehand, made it all the more frustrating that her results and performances were so up and down.

Last year she was the only former champion to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon but lost to Kirsten Flipkens, while at the Australian Open in January she was beaten in the first round by little-known Thai Luksika Kumkhum.

“Always I have some worry, that’s the same with everyone I think,” said Kvitova.

“It was up and down in the three years after I won here and definitely there were times when I really didn’t think I can win another grand slam but in the end when I woke up the next morning, I was going to work again and to work very hard as before, to try to do everything I can to be here again and be the Wimbledon champion.”

One of the things that pleased Kvitova most over the past fortnight was the way in which she handled the pressure of favouritism.

It was very different in 2011 when, despite having reached the semi-finals the previous year, she was very much under the radar.

The 24-year-old said: “This tournament I played so well, maybe I can say that I played better than 2011.

“I played with the pressure, I was always the favourite of the match, and I still did a good job.”