Petra Kvitova believes the hard work in the off-season is paying dividends as she bids to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open

Fitness the key for Kvitova



Originally published on 23/01/15

The two-time Wimbledon champion takes on Madison Keys on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday as she bids to reach the fourth round here for the first time since 2012.

Melbourne has not been a happy hunting ground for Kvitova in recent years; having lost in the second round to Laura Robson in 2013, she was stunned by world No.88 Luksika Kumkhum in the first round last year.

In the past Kvitova has struggled with the heat and humidity in Melbourne, but she believes that her work at the end of the year with Li Na’s ex-fitness trainer Alex Stober, as well as long-time coach David Koyyza, has helped immeasurably.

“I knew that David was little bit worried about it,” admitted Kvitova. “Me, too, of course but I did not say it. But I knew that I'm prepared better than the years before, I can handle it better. It was the work in off-season for sure.”

Talking about her pre-season training, Kvitova revealed that Stober pushed her hard. “When we start preparation, the first three, four days was very, very tough,” she said. “I felt everything; I couldn't really walk. It was funny to see me probably. But I think that every day when he did the treatments, I could handle it more and more: practices and tougher workouts.”

Standing between Kvitova and a place in the fourth round is talented American teenager Madison Keys. The pair have met just once before, in Tokyo back in 2013, when Kvitova won comfortably in straight sets. However, Keys, now 19, has her first WTA title under her belt (Eastbourne 2014) and has looked impressive in her opening two matches.

Kvitova knows the big-serving Keys, who is now being coached by former world No.1 Lindsay Davenport, will come out swinging against her.

"She’s better player than she was when I played her in Tokyo,” said Kvitova. “It's different surface, different conditions for sure. I know she has a big serve. Is going to be really aggressive from her. I need to serve well and try to return her serve.”

Order of Play: Saturday 24 January
Rod Laver Arena
Varvara Lepchenko (USA)[30] v Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[6]
Serena Williams (USA)[1] v Elina Svitolina (UKR)[26]
Stan Wawrinka (SUI)[4] v Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)

Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] v Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[31]
Petra Kvitova (CZE)[4] v Madison Keys (USA)

Margaret Court Arena
Camila Giorgi (ITA) v Venus Williams (USA)[18]
Feliciano Lopez (ESP)[12] v Jerzy Janowicz (POL)
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE)[25] v Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
David Ferrer (ESP)[9] v Gilles Simon (FRA)[18]
Bob Bryan (USA) & Mike Bryan (USA) [1] v Carlos Berlocq (ARG) & Leonardo Mayer (ARG)



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