Wimbledon | Kvitova suffers shock defeat
In what was a shock result, the two time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was knocked out of this year’s Chamionships in what was her ninth first-round loss at Grand Slam level.
Aliaksansdra Sasnovich, a 24-year-old Belarssuian, completed a stunning 6-4 4-6 6-0 win to reach the second round at Wimbledon which to date, equals her best result reached in 2015 and 2016. It was also her first win on grass this season and her second win over a top ten player.
Was a first round, the nerves were there again. I don't know. I just tried to kind of fight with myself. Probably was the biggest opponent which I have. Yeah, I tried. I changed it in the second set when I got an early break. In the third, I think it was just too quickly when she was on the board and I just couldn’t handle it any more. Petra Kvitova
“I know Petra won two times here, I knew it would be a good experience to play here. But I am happy [for]my dad, my coach my big team. I play for them and the people who support [me] at home. I gave all I can do on the court” she told the BBC in her post-match interview.
“It was a good match but I can play better, I know. Petra was good, but I deserved it more today. To be honest at 5-0 in the last set I was up, I could play one more match. I am happy with the win, but it is the first round, you come here you want to win.
“I can play better, I see myself better, so I need to improve all elements of my game. First mental preparation with my new coach. It’s nice.”
Sasnovich, world ranked 50, saved two break points in the sixth game of the first set and her approach on those big points helped to build her confidence.
Kvitova used her forehand to open up the court but missed a couple of backhands to waste two break points in the final game of the set.
The Bealrussian struck her first ace of the match to set up set point for the opening set. She followed that up with a huge forehand forcing her Czech opponent, the seventh seed, into backhand error to snatch the set.
The Kvitova responded by breaking her younger opponent in the first game of the second and held to 4-1 and looked to be taking over control only for Sasnovich to strike back when she was serving for the set but only detained Kvitova levelling the match.
But the pendulum swung away from the Czech who was ‘bageled’in the decider, the second she has suffered this year.
And it was a bemused Kvitova who faced the press later and when questioned as to what went wrong, she replied: “I think most things wasn’t working. That’s probably the answer for that. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel well obviously. Was a first round, the nerves were there again. I don’t know. I just tried to kind of fight with myself. Probably was the biggest opponent which I have. Yeah, I tried. I changed it in the second set when I got an early break. In the third, I think it was just too quickly when she was on the board and I just couldn’t handle it any more.”