A familiar environment, yet a completely different world. Petra Kvitová is preparing for her twelfth Australian Open in Melbourne. In conditions incomparable to anything she has experienced during her career.
However, the Czech tennis player refuses to complain in any way. “We have to learn to live with it,” Kvitová tells her tennis colleagues. Last year’s finalist of the inaugural grand slam of the season can understand their frustration, as well as the fear of Australians and the strict measures that follow.
“I know it’s hard, especially for those who are completely closed. But we all went into it with the idea that something similar could happen,” the Czech tennis player defends the organizers and opposes those who claim that the possibility of a strict lockdown they did not know before arrival.
“We all thought we would be lucky and everything would be fine, but the possibility of hard quarantine was here. Australian tennis is trying to help everyone, putting training equipment in the rooms,” the 30-year-old player told Tennis Majors.
Kvitová is one of the happier ones. During her arrival, she did not meet anyone infected on the plane, so she can take advantage of daily five-hour walks for training. What is not enough for others to be fully prepared, the experienced Czech Republic acknowledges.
“To be honest, that’s enough for me. I’m on the court for an hour and a half with a warm-up, another hour in the gym. It’s fine for me. I understand it’s not enough for most others, but I’m getting old, so I have to save my body a little, “explains the current world number nine.
The winter preparation was tough and so Kvitová is happy for the current somewhat more relaxing regime.
“I enjoy my free time even when I’m closed. I watch some series, I have coffee, I read. And of course I do some fitness. There’s still work to do,” he describes his partial hotel quarantine. On Netflix, she rehearsed a romantic series for Bridgerton, then threw herself into Czech production. He reads detective stories and a lot of time is taken by phone calls with friends and family.
In Melbourne, she dealt with problems with agreed training partners. American Amanda Anisimovová had a positive test in Abu Dhabi, her substitute and compatriot Jennifer Bradyová was on the plane with a positive one, so the Czech Republic finally runs around the court with the Croatian Petra Martičová.
Kvitová confirms Barbora Krejčíková’s words about strict security at the hotel.
“Especially at the beginning it was very strict, the infected people on the planes scared everyone here, which I understand. We can’t even open the door to the hallway, only if they knock that they’re bringing us food.”
He does not talk to other tennis players, there is practically no interaction.
“I don’t see anyone, I don’t talk to anyone. Even if we take the bus for training, we have to keep a lot of distance. Just before we get on the court, we disinfect our hands five times. It’s very strict, but necessary. We have to follow the rules,” says Kvitová.
She can feel gratitude in her words for being able to do what she loves most in life. “I really appreciate being here to play tennis. We have to appreciate that. There are a lot of people in the world who are losing their jobs. I’m grateful we can be active and fight on the courts.”
He does not set specific sports goals for the season. Above all, he wants to stay healthy. “Of course I want to play good tennis, that’s what I’ve been trying to do all my career,” smiles the two-time Wimbledon champion.