“I Feel Like I’m Putting On My Battle Outfit When I Get Dressed Before A Match” – What Does It Actually Feel Like To Play Wimbledon?

'It is hard to have a normal life, because we travel so much of the year - But you get to visit countries and explore the world, meet lots of different people and enjoy new cultures'

Petra Kvitova

by Guy Pewsey |
Published on

Wimbledon is full of sporting heroes. The annual tennis championship brings the world’s best players to the small pocket of southwest London, each hoping to exhibit the best that they can give. But some have had more obstacles than others. For Petra Kvitova, the tennis star who hails from the Czech Republic, there have been ups and downs on the road to Wimbledon as she recovers from a serious wrist industry. But she’s raring to go.

Wimbledon is my favourite place to play,” she tells Grazia, adding that her Wimbledon titles are what she’s most proud of in her impressive career. “I love the history, the traditions, wearing white. Just walking through the gates feels different. It’s the home of tennis for me.”

Like many of her fellow champions, Petra started young. “I started picking up the balls for my brothers when I was 3,” she recalls. “My dad was coaching us all. He didn't want us to just hang around so we went to the tennis courts a lot and that's how it started.” These early family bonding experiences have stayed with her. Asked who her role models are, she credits them as inspirational figures. “My parents taught me a lot about being respectful, working hard and believing in myself”, she says. “My brothers too. We are a very close family.”

Petra became a pro tennis player in 2006 and, since then, has won a remarkable 27 career singles titles. Two of those were at Wimbledon, where she took the trophy in 2011 and 2014. Success has its pitfalls, though. “It is hard to have a normal life, because we travel so much of the year”, she points out. “It can be lonely sometimes. But the positive aspects are that you get to visit countries and explore the world, meet lots of different people and enjoy new cultures. Plus you get to play in front of big crowds on huge stadiums.”

When it comes to taking to the court for a match, physical strength and regular training is key. But Petra is also buoyed by the process of getting ready in the changing rooms: for her, looks are important. “I feel like I'm putting on my battle outfit when I get dressed before a match”, she says. “My headband is kind of a trade mark for me and I always wear my hair in the same way when I play. I like to think elegant and simple. I am lucky to wear Nike on court and I always love their outfits and colours. Off court, I'm pretty casual but I do love to get dressed up for the red carpet.”

Now, she’s also thrilled to have been enlisted as an Ambassador for Tag Heuer, the luxury watch brand. “Time is a really important part of my life so to have a watch sponsor is perfect for me,” she says. “I was so excited to become an ambassador. I’ve always loved watches and there are so many beautiful ones. I love the classic design and the elegance. I had a chance to go to the factory and see the process of a watch being made: it was fascinating to see how skilled they are there.”

Petra is thrilled to be back in the game after her injury, and back on the court at Wimbledon, but acknowledges that she still has to take it easier than usual as she recovers. “I am just glad to be in the draw here after my injury, and really looking forward to giving it a go. I am not practising too much,” she explains. “I am getting treatment, eating good food and relaxing back at the house in the village with my team.” This downtime is spent listening to music, reading and going for coffee. She also ensures to catch up with Czech soap operas.

The tournament rumbles on, as Britain and the world await who will take to the podium as Wimbledon champion. Whether or not Petra makes it this time around, her drive and determination can’t be underestimated. Watch this space...

TAG Heuer Ambassador Petra Kvitova was interviewed wearing the TAG Heuer Carrera Lady. For more information visit; www.tagheuer.com

Gallery

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