Petra Kvitova is on a personal journey of self-discovery as she adapts to life on tour without a coach, having parted ways with David Kotyza putting an end to their seven-year working relationship.
The Czech, seeded No4 in Dubai, is flying solo this week and says she parted ways with Kotyza because she felt she had not been improving.
Kvitova started with working with Kotyza in 2008 and the pair won two Wimbledon titles together – in 2011 and 2014. Their split, announced earlier this month, came as a complete shock to the tennis following and the 25-year-old admits she does not have a set time frame on when she’ll be hiring a replacement.
For now, Kvitova is keen on enjoying some peace and quiet in Dubai, where she is seeking a second title to the one she won here in 2013, which she incidentally captured without having Kotyza by her side.
“It was a long relationship and I just felt I needed some new input into my game and that’s what I did,” Kvitova told reporters in Dubai on Sunday.
“I split with David but we are still pretty close. It’s not like we’re not talking with each other but of course he’s not my coach anymore.
“Now I don’t have any coach, I’m by myself and I’m kind of enjoying this thing and I hope that those kind of things will help my game.
“I just feel this step is important for me to find out what I want, what I need to do, and how I can play well again so I think it’s a good word: evolution.
“I didn’t feel that I’m improving so that is why I made this change (to split from coach) and I hope it is going to help me. I think that I can play better than I am playing right now. I think physically I can be better again. I think it’s many things in my game that I can reach.
Kvitova says she has “no idea” and when she will hire a new coach but she is looking to find a sparring partner to join her for the US hard-court swing at Indian Wells and Miami.
She joked that yes, she is aware that she is completely alone on Valentine’s Day but insists she is fine with it and is looking forward to handle things by herself.
“I just feel more free than I felt before. I’m just on my own and I just think that this kind of stuff like in practice, off the court, everything is about me and I’m thinking about the game and about what I’m going to do,” said the ex-world No2.
“So I’m just a little bit learning myself. I have a responsibility, of course. It is my job and my game, so everything is on me.”
Kvitova has only played four completed matches in 2016, having fallen sick at the start of the season.
She retired from her first match of the year in Shenzhen and fell in the second round at the Australian Open to Daria Gavrilova.
She initially wasn’t coming to Dubai but requested a wildcard in order to get some more matches under her belt.
Kvitova lost both her Fed Cup matches against Romania last week but says she was happy with her form in her three-set defeat to Simona Halep.
The Czech ace knows she is lacking consistency in terms of making deep runs in every tournament throughout the season and believes it is an area she can definitely improve upon.
As for handling all the logistics by herself now that she has no coach to schedule her practices and make arrangements, Kvitova insists she is up for the job.
“Yes I am ready to deal with all of that,” she said.
“I think it’s important sometimes for a person to be by themselves. Sometimes you need the space, and the peace so you can think a lot.
“I can’t say I am come here with confidence right now but it’s nice that I can play some more matches, I have good memories of course and I’ll do my best to go as far as I can.”
On whether she worries about the loneliness that can creep in while on tour, Kvitova said: “I think it’s a bit more difficult for the women than for the men. You are away from your family, and from your boyfriends and it’s a little bit difficult. But I think it’s for a couple of years and then you can be home.
“Of course sometimes it’s not easy, I will not lie, but that’s part of this. I’m okay right now, it’s Valentine’s Day but I’m okay. I’m totally fine.”
Kvitova has a bye in the first round and awaits the winner of the match between Ekaterina Makarova and Madison Brengle.