The country’s two top tennis players, Petra Kvitová and Tomáš Berdych, have made it to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. Kvitová, who was the women’s champion at the All-England Club in 2011, will face Kirsten Flipkens who has never before made it so far. Berdych, by contrast, faces an arguably tougher opponent in Novak Djokovic – who he has only beaten twice.
Petra Kvitová has been here before, four years in a row making it to the quarterfinals. In 2011, she went all the way, winning Wimbledon, like Czech tennis greats Jana Novotná and Martina Navratilová before her. On Tuesday, Kvitová faces Belgian’s Kirsten Flipkens for a spot in the semis. The Czech is the clear favourite and some are already projecting her in the next round, if not the final itself. The last thing, Kvitová wants, however, is to take anything for granted, especially after the unexpected departure of top-seed Serena Williams.
“As if things weren’t difficult enough, some already see me reaching the final since I am the highest-ranked in my half of the pool. It’s not very pleasant to listen to. But I have to accept it.”
“It’s different. Back when nobody knew me, I went in and did what I had to do and won my match, went home, and came back the next day. Now it’s a different situation. Of course, it would be great to reach the final again. But the players I will face may be at the top of their game, can play unexpectedly well or even the best game of their career.”
In the men’s singles at Wimbledon 2010 was the best year so far for No.7 seed Tomáš Berdych, when he was runner-up. This year in the quarterfinals, he faces a known quanity, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who he has faced often. The players met on the court 15 times and Berdych has only won twice. One would be hard-pressed to find a tougher opponent, but Berdych says he is ready.
“It might be a tiny advantage that I beat him in our last outing, a small piece to add to the puzzle. I even won our last match on grass, so I have to approach the match believing I can win. Beating him in straight sets will be very tough, of course. We’ll see how things go.”
It was none other than Djokovic who Berdych beat on grass back in 2010 in the Wimbledon semi-final. He will be hoping to repeat history and again take him down in straight sets. Czech tennis fans on Tuesday and Wednesday have plenty to look forward to and will no doubt be keeping their fingers crossed.
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