‘It’s been a long ride’ – Petra Kvitova gets emotional after French Open win

Czech star secures fourth-round win over China’s Shuai Zhang

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova celebrates after winning her fourth-round game against China’s Zhang Shuai at the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova celebrates after winning her fourth-round game against China’s Zhang Shuai at the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

 

Petra Kvitova had to hold back the tears as she booked her place in the French Open quarter-final.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was filled with emotion following a 6-3 6-4 fourth-round win over Shuai Zhang which reinforced her attachment to Roland Garros.

It was at this tournament in 2017 that Kvitova made her comeback following a horrific knife attack at her home a few months earlier, an incident which should have ended her career.

For her to be in the last eight here for just the second time in her career – and first since 2012 – only makes her think about the journey she has been on.

“I got a bit emotional last two points of my match,” she admitted.

“I really started to think still about the match because in tennis we really never know when it’s the end. But my memories, happy memories, when I made my comeback here 2017, when I step on the Philippe Chatrier, I couldn’t really imagine me to be in the quarter-final of this slam.

“Everything just came back to me. When I’m talking, I’m getting emotional again. It’s been a long ride definitely.

“Everything came to my mind when I had my whole family, people who I loved to helped me through the tough, tough time.

“I don’t know, just everything came back to my mind. I just saw them. I was just playing on the Philippe Chatrier. Yeah, I mean, it was so nice to win the match and to be in the quarter-final.”

Kvitova will have a great shot at going one step further as she now faces world number 66 Laura Siegemund.

The German, who defeated Paula Badosa in straight sets, is in her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final, meaning she is living the dream.

“It’s exciting to come so far,” she said. “It was always my dream to be in the second week of a slam. I just spoke about it with my boyfriend in the US Open.

“It was one big goal for me to make it in singles into the second week of a slam. That’s where I see myself. That’s where I want to be.

“I’m glad I’m making that come true now. Clay is my favourite surface. I feel like there’s also more in it for me.

“I want to take it one step at a time. Truly excited to be in the quarters. Also still in the zone. I try to have more than that even.”

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