Over the past decade, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep have become two of the most treasured figures in their sport. Kvitova has been selected by her peers a record eight times for the WTA Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award; Halep’s worldwide following voted her WTA Fan Favorite for three consecutive years.
Having each earned the distinction as WTA Player of the Year—Kvitova in 2011 and Halep in 2018—both have established themselves as upper-echelon mainstays. Making her debut in the Top 10 on January 27, 2014, Halep has stayed put in every week since. As of November 2020, Kvitova held a 27–10 record in title matches. With neither showing signs of slowing down, count on these two champions to remain formidable foes come 2021.
You can only have breakfast, lunch or dinner for the rest of your life. Which meal are you keeping?
SH: Breakfast—for a ham and cheese omelet and some bread with Nutella.
PK: That’s tough. Either lunch or dinner, because I would want sushi.
Which player makes you laugh the most?
SH: There are so many, but I say Monica Niculescu.
PK: Currently, it’s too tough to say, because we’re not seeing each other much in the locker room.
What is your favorite scent?
SH: Roses. They make me think of nature and I love the fresh smell.
PK: I have a few of them, like Miss Dior Roses and Chanel.
When you’re driving, how likely are you to sing along to the radio?
SH: I never sing when someone is next to me. On my own, sometimes. I sing the Romanian songs because they are easier.
PK: It depends, but the radio is definitely on. It’s a Czech station. They have some English songs for the evening that are nice and slow.
What is a mistaken belief you think people have about life as a professional tennis player?
SH: Traveling. I think it’s the most difficult thing for us.
PK: They just see us playing, and think it’s just about that. When we are traveling, we have so much time off the court, but we don’t really have the time to see anything else, because we are there to put everything we can into each match.
What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
SH: We always meet and have a lunch together. There’s a Romanian cake that we always use during Christmas—it’s called Cozonac.
PK: Presents under the tree for sure. I really love to buy them. I’m always thinking about it and trying to make my family happy. I like our special Czech food for Christmas Eve as well.