2012 French Open Previews: Petra Kvitova
Tennis is all about timing, and lately Petra Kvitova has had a tough time gaining traction in tournaments.
In January, Kvitova was a couple of wins from capturing the Australian Open title and the world No. 1 ranking, but she lost in the Melbourne semis and has been beset by injury, illness, and inconsistency since, posting a 6-5 record in WTA events post-Oz. That slide has left the ultra-talented Wimbledon winner in danger of losing her Top 5 spot if she stumbles in Paris and London.
The left-handed Czech is not as quick around the court as others, but she is a skilled shotmaker adept at dictating play from the first strike when she's on her game. She'll face physical and mental challenges early on, and rely on her explosive game to supply answers that have been elusive in recent weeks.
Reason to Hope: Kvitova’s all-court acumen allows her to take the offensive against any opponent. On clay, she won the 2011 Madrid title and gave eventual champion Li Na a tough test in Paris last year, losing in three sets.
Reason to Worry: Kvitova suffered a strained abdominal in Rome that restricted her serve, her movement around the clay is suspect, and since her run to the Australian Open semis, she's won successive tournament matches just twice.
The Last Word: Given her struggles to string together back-to-back wins and the additional pressure as a high seed and major champion, a second-week appearance would be a good result.