Petra Kvitova is downplaying how special her appearance in the Australian Open final is considering what she’s been through. Picture: Michael Klein
Petra Kvitova is downplaying how special her appearance in the Australian Open final is considering what she’s been through. Picture: Michael Klein

Kvitova downplays remarkable journey back to top

HOLLYWOOD has produced its share of tennis movies, some better than others.

Battle Of The Sexes, Borg vs McEnroe and Wimbledon are just a few.

If Petra Kvitova wins the Australian Open, Tinseltown's cashed-up impresarios will beat a path to the Czech's door, intent on turning her incredible story to film.

Whatever licence they might take with the story, it will be impossible to overstate the complexity of Kvitova's journey back to a grand slam final.

The southpaw will face Naomi Osaka in a final where, mercifully, there are no polarising personalities or sooks.

It is little than two years since Kvitova suffered gruesome injuries to her left hand after she was attacked in her Prostejov apartment.

Several of Kvitova's fingers were badly damaged as she grappled with the intruder, grabbing the blade of the knife as it was held at her throat.

Such was the extent of the damage, specialists were sceptical the dual Wimbledon champion would ever contend again at the highest level.

 

Kvitova  has enjoyed her run at the Australian Open.
Kvitova has enjoyed her run at the Australian Open.

As much as Kvitova appreciates public support over the attack, she is trying to keep the match as normal as possible.

"I don't think it's anything like very special," she said.

"I have been in the final of the grand slam, but this is a little bit different.

"I'm not playing on the grass, but it's just probably a little bit more special because it's after everything I have been through.

"It's just different, but I don't think it's, like, more nervous.

"It's a grand slam. You do have your nerves there, and doesn't matter what happen.

"You are just a bit more like stressed than normally you are when you are at home and practising and whatever. That's how it is.

"But definitely I need to play my best tennis, what I can say.

Kvitova will face Naomi Osaka in the final. Picture: Michael Klein
Kvitova will face Naomi Osaka in the final. Picture: Michael Klein

"I think Naomi is on fire. She's in very good form.

"She's an aggressive player, which I am, as well. So I think it will be about who gonna take the first point and push the other a little bit."

Kvitova will contest her first major final since winning Wimbledon 2015.

Also the 2011 All England Club champion, the Czech conceded some days are tougher than others.

"You know, there are kind of moments and days where I didn't really think very positively that I can be in the final of the grand slam anymore," she said.

"It took me a little while, five years to get there, which is not really easy.

"That's probably the best thing that I really proved, that I didn't give up. That's probably the best."

The physical complications aside, the mental obstacles placed in front of Kvitova were immense.

It took her time to again feel safe in a room with men.

Kvitova has an imposing strike rate in finals.

Her 26 titles so far - the most recent in Sydney three weeks ago against Ash Barty - have come from 33 finals.

"I love playing on the big stages," she said.

If successful, Kvitova will become the first Czech female to reach world No.1 since Karolina Pliskova and the first Czech to win the Open since Hana Mandlikova in 1987.

Osaka has won her 13 past grand slam matches, a streak crowned by US Open triumph over Serena Williams.

News Corp Australia