Petra Kvitova: Her Remarkable Recovery After Life-Changing Ordeal Continues

Wednesday, 06 Sep, 2017

Williams has won seven Grand Slam titles in her career, but she lost her previous two Grand Slam events - to her sister Serena at the Australian Open and to Muguruza at Wimbledon.

Muguruza appeared to have re-positioned herself as the new queen of tennis with her Wimbledon title and had raced through her first three matches here. It is as unaffected and guileless as this woman who reduced Li Na to tears with her eloquence at the Chinese player's retirement ceremony and has won the WTA sportsmanship award five times. "It means a lot, it's an incredible night to play in front of a great crowd", Kvitova said in her on-court interview on Sunday.

Tuesday night's clash pits two of the most inspirational players on tour against each other. It was a journey. "It's very unfortunate but at the same time I'm happy to be in the fourth round".

"Everything after what happened is something new. The injury is severe, and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me, I am strong and will fight this".

"Sometimes I just really feel that the touch is there - the strength, the aggressive kind of game plan", said Kvitova.

Playing her first grand slam since returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova proved a polarizing presence at Flushing Meadows, feted by adoring fans but vilified in the small corners of the players' locker room. But the mere fact that Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams are playing in a U.S. Open quarterfinal in 2017 is more than enough cause for celebration.

This was the third time in her four matches that Sharapova went the distance and she faded down the stretch, while also dealing with a blister on her right hand that was treated and taped by a trainer in the final set. Muguruza saved one match point in holding serve to trail 5-3 but was unable to capitalise when Kvitova tightened up as she served for the match in the following game. Even though Muguruza and Kvitova are both hard hitters, Kvitova seemed to take charge while Muguruza had to try to counter. She continued to pick on Muguruza's forehand and varying shots to that side.

The tie-break turned when Muguruza served at 3-4.

Kvitova triumphed despite falling 4-1 behind in the first set and then failing to serve it out in the 12th game.

She said: "I'm not thinking like that any more".

The only Grand Slam champions left in the women's draw will meet when Venus Williams plays Petra Kvitova in the US Open quarter-finals on day nine.

While the fans welcomed her with open arms and standing ovations, there was a chill among a group of players who believe the five-time grand slam champion was accorded special treatment due to her profile and marketability.