Petra Kvitova is a Czech professional tennis player who is known for her powerful left-handed groundstrokes and is a multiple Grand Slam titlist.
Name: Petra Kvitova
Born: March 8, 1990
Turned Pro: 2006
Petra Kvitova was born in Bilovec, Czechoslovakia and was introduced to tennis by her father, Jiri Kvita. She was a fan of Czech-American Martina Navratilova growing up, and trained in her hometown of Fulnek until the age of 16. Her outstanding skill and potential did not go unnoticed, as she was soon encouraged by an instructor to pursue a career in professional tennis.
In 2006, Kvitova participated on the ITF circuit, winning two singles titles. She failed to qualify for her first WTA event at the 2007 Prague Open, but made her main draw debut at the 2007 Nordic Light Open, losing in the first round to Marta Domachowska. Although she failed to qualify for that year’s US Open, she did win four more singles titles on the ITF circuit.
Kvitova obtained her first WTA main draw victory by defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues at the 2008 Open Gaz de France. She then defeated defending champion Venus Williams in the first round at Memphis, and followed that up with her first Fed Cup singles victory. Her Grand Slam debut came at the 2008 French Open, where she made the fourth round before losing to Kaia Kanepi. Due to her strong showings at several events that year, she finished the season ranked World No.44.
She won her maiden WTA title at the 2009 Hobart International, defeating compatriot Iveta Benesova in the final. At the 2009 US Open, she upset then-World No.1 Dinara Safina to secure her first win over a reigning World No.1. She recorded her first Grand Slam semifinal appearance at the 2010 Wimbledon semifinals, before losing to eventual champion Serena Williams. Nonetheless, she finished the 2010 season ranked No.34 and was named WTA Newcomer of the Year.
Kvitova achieved her breakthrough during the 2011 season, as she won her second WTA title at the Brisbane International. After a quarterfinal and fourth round showing at the Australian Open and Roland Garros respectively, Kvitova entered Wimbledon as the eighth seed. She then proceeded to reach her maiden Grand Slam final, where she defeated Maria Sharapova to lift her first Major title. She cemented her status as a top player by qualifying for and winning the 2011 WTA Finals, ending the year as World No.2.
Kvitova experienced continued success in 2012, as she made the Australian Open and French Open semifinals. Furthermore, she won two more WTA titles that season (Montreal, New Haven), finishing the year as World No.8. The following year saw her win another two WTA titles (Dubai, Tokyo) with a few runner-up and semifinal performances during the season. She ended the 2013 season ranked as World No.6, qualifying for the WTA Finals but losing to Li Na in the semifinals.
The Czech experienced a resurgence during the 2014 season, when she won three more WTA titles. She claimed her second Grand Slam title at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Eugenie Bouchard in the final. This victory saw her rise to World No.4, a position she would hold until the end of the season.
In 2015, Kvitova was diagnosed with mononucelosis but was nevertheless cleared to compete. Although she failed to defend her Wimbledon title, she won three more WTA trophies and was runner-up at the 2015 WTA Finals, finishing the year ranked No.6.
Kvitová’s career was put on hold when she was attacked by a knife-wielding robber at her Czech home just before Christmas in 2016.. She suffered cuts to her dominant left-hand, which caused her to be sidelined for several months. However, she returned a month earlier than expected in May 2017 and won her 20th career singles title at the Birmingham Classic.
Kvitova won five more titles in 2018, and finished the year ranked No.7. This was a drastic improvement from the previous season, where her ranking fell to No.29 due to her injuries. The Czech began the 2019 season by winning in Sydney, before losing to Naomi Osaka in the final of the Australian Open. Nevertheless, Kvitova returned to World No.2 following her performance at the tournament.
Kvitova is also a six-time Fed Cup winner (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018) and a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Furthermore, she has won the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award on multiple occasions. This comes as no surprise as she is well-liked by her peers and is considered one of the nicest WTA players on tour. She is endorsed by Nike, and is an ambassador for TAG Heuer.