Sometimes, it’s all about courage, belief and pojd…
For those who came in late... during the French Open earlier this year, Petra Kvitova won her first round match against Julia Boserup. It was an emotional victory – her first match since November when she was attacked by a home invader. She turned around to her box and with tears in her eyes, blew them a kiss.
Her team members were all on their feet, dressed in t-shirts that had the words “Courage. Belief. Pojd” printed across. The term ‘pojd’ is the Czech equivalent to ‘Come on!’.
Simply said, in the US Open, Kvitova has given more than enough opportunities for her team to go ‘Pojd.’
The last Grand Slam of the year has seen its share of injury-related comebacks, both in the women’s and men’s draw. But perhaps none is as inspiring as Kvitova, who is making the most of her return to tennis following her forced six-month hiatus following a vicious turn-of-events.
The Czech entered the US Open quarter-finals on Sunday with a surprising straight sets win over world No 3 Garbine Muguruza.
The game is back
The euphoria that continues to surround Kvitova is understandable. Even more so, since the time she chose to share details about the state of her playing hand before she had her surgery in August. These days, three Majors into her comeback, her game looks to be back where it once was.
“Sometimes, I just really feel that the touch is there, the strength [and] the aggressive kind of game plan [in my game],” she said. “It’s there, [for] which I’m really, really appreciative. [It] took me [a] while to find it. Luckily, I [have found] it in a Grand Slam, which is nice.”
Despite these positives, the glare of her accident is yet starkly visible each time she bunches up her wrist for a fist pump.
For, a natural left-hander as she is, Kvitova has had been forced to celebrate winning a point by pumping her right first instead of her left because she still can’t close her fingers on her left hand. That she has come this far despite still struggling, then, is a statement of its own as much as her results themselves.
In her post-match press conference, she noted, “Especially after everything what happened, I do feel little bit [pumped up], of course. I don’t really have a best ranking, but on the other hand I know I can play well. That’s how it is.”
Kvitova vs Williams
It’s this assertiveness that Kvitova will look to carry forward in her quarter-final against Venus Williams, who is setting inspirational goals of her own this year. And, while the head-to-head does favour Kvitova 4-1, this meeting will be in quite a different context.
“She’s a champion. It’s what we all know,” mentioned Kvitova about her sixth meeting with the two-time former US Open champion. “It was the kind of moments when I [dreamed] of coming and playing again on the big stages against great players on the tour. That was kind of one of the motivation to be back for [this].”
On her part, the ever-gracious Venus spoke about the poignancy of playing Kvitova.
“What she’s gone through is unimaginable, unreasonable,” said Venus. “The world we live in is just shocking. So, for her, I think to be playing well is such a blessing. To be able to come out here and do what she needs to do, to clear her head, it’s such a beautiful thing to see.”
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