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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 March 2019

Dubai Tennis: Petra Kvitova unhappy with game despite Round 2 victory

World No 4 overcomes poor start to defeat Czech compatriot Katerina Siniakova 6-7, 6-4, 6-4

Petra Kvitova made a sluggish start before gradually growing in confidence to win in three sets on Tuesday. Francois Nel / Getty Images
Petra Kvitova made a sluggish start before gradually growing in confidence to win in three sets on Tuesday. Francois Nel / Getty Images

A jovial Petra Kvitova said she had work to do if she is to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for a second time.

The world No 4 overcame a poor start to defeat Czech compatriot Katerina Siniakova 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in her second-round match on Tuesday.

But when asked what she had not liked about her performance, she smiled and said: "The bad things, it's a lot, so we don't really have a time to talk about. I have a free afternoon to think about it."

Kvitova, who had a first-round bye like the other top eight seeds, had been broken in the third game of the first set to be immediately on the backfoot.

She had to stave off a further two break points in the fifth game as she continued to struggle. However, she slowly found her range and broke back in the 10th game, but then lost the tie-break.

A solitary break of Siniakova's serve in the second and third sets, though, were enough for the double Wimbledon champion to fightback to prevail and set up a match on Wednesday against Jennifer Brady for a place in the last 16.

Kvitova said she had gained confidence from her renaissance in the first set and that had galvanised her for the rest of the match.

"Even though I lost the tie-break, I was really fighting in the first set to get it done, then the tie-break was just a little bad from my side," the 28-year-old said.

The break in the second set came in Siniakova's first service game, and Kvitova said that had been important too.

"I started again pretty well. I won my first two games in the second set. It was really helpful for me that mentally."

Kvitova had been the earlier starter of the top seeds on Tuesday, being on court at 11am, and she said after a flurry of late night matches at the Australian Open that playing earlier in the day had been a challenge.

"Sun was out, sun was in," she said. "Sometimes when I was serving, it was there. It's not great when you serve.

"I don't really see the next point, so I'm guessing sometimes. So probably that's the bad part. It was a little bit windy in end of the match, but was same for both of us definitely."

World No 66 Brady, who defeated 14th seed Caroline Garcia 6-4, 7-5, will be something of a step into the unknown for Kvitova.

It will be their first ever meeting on the WTA Tour, and Kvitova said: "I don't know Jennifer at all. I know how she looks like, but I never really see her play that much."

Updated: February 19, 2019 11:15 PM

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