WTA Finals: Fatigued Petra Kvitova feeling 'weird' ahead of Singapore clash with Karolina Pliskova

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Petra Kvitova admits it’s a ‘weird’ feeling knowing her qualification fate is in the hands of others in her WTA Finals group after she suffered two opening defeats but is choosing to focus on the positives as she enters the closing stages of her season.

The Czech lefty followed up her loss to Elina Svitolina with a three-set defeat to Caroline Wozniacki in Singapore on Tuesday but still has a third match on Thursday, against her compatriot Karolina Pliskova. While Kvitova’s chances of qualifying for the semis are not huge (Kvitova must beat Pliskova in straight sets AND Svitolina must defeat Wozniacki), she hopes to go out there and give it her best shot/

Kvitova had a sensational first half of 2018, winning a tour-leading five titles, but she has lost five of her last six matches and confessed it’s been difficult finding the energy to finish the season strong.

“I think that in the second half of the season I have been a little bit tired from the first half,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.

“I think I played great one in Cincinnati. Not bad in US Open. Just that match with [Aryna] Sabalenka was just difficult. The Asian swing, yeah, I was sick before, so I’m not sure how I should explain that. And of course this one is just really tough from the first match. Of course this hurts to have those two losses, but I can’t be too hard on myself to just be here after everything. So I just need to think positively, which is pretty hard right now, but, yeah, I should.”

Looking beyond this tournament and ahead to 2019, Kvitova concedes that she will need to resort to more meticulous scheduling in order to avoid late-season burnout.

“Definitely I need to have a good off-season as I had last year. And I think that we will do a little bit better scheduling of the tournaments not to get this many, well, it’s great to have so many matches, but in the other hand, it’s just taking me some energy. So I think we just need to find a balance of playing those tournaments,” she explained.

Kvitova was talking while Svitolina was halfway through her three-set win over Pliskova. Had Pliskova won that clash, Kvitova would have already been eliminated from the competition, deeming their upcoming match on Thursday a dead rubber.

“I feel weird, to be honest. I don’t know what will happen or not, but I still do have one more match, anyway. I do have Fed Cup finals, so still the season is not over yet,” added Kvitova. “I don’t know. I will wait how everything will go. I will go, for sure, for the next one and will do everything what I can, anyway.”

Kvitova leads Pliskova 3-0 head-to-head and the former is working with the latter’s ex-coach Jiri Vanek, who switched sides at the end of 2016.

“I think for them it’s going to be tough match, and every one of them, they try to do the best and try to beat the other one,” said Vanek of their upcoming showdown in Singapore.

“It’s going to be big fight. It’s tough to say for me, because I have coached Karolina before. Always, you know, the eyes between us, sometimes looks like she’s not that happy maybe that I change from her to Petra, but that’s the life.”

Pliskova, currently coached by Rennae Stubbs, has taken just one set off of Kvitova in three previous meetings but she’s hoping she can turn things around this time. She has faced two counter-punchers so far this week in Singapore, Wozniacki and Svitolina, and knows she’ll be taking on a far more aggressive player on Thursday.

“It’s gonna be completely different match, for sure, than those two. We played this year once [Petra and I]. Always when I played her she won the tournament, so maybe this time it’s gonna be different,” Pliskova said with a smile.

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