Australian Open

Kvitova's toilet troubles behind her

2016-01-18 07:04
Petra Kvitova (AP Photo)

Melbourne - Double Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova has spent almost as much time on the toilet as the practice courts recently but showed no sign of illness in getting her Australian Open underway Monday.

The Czech sixth seed has had the worst possible lead-up to the year's opening Grand Slam, with a gastro problem forcing her out of the Shenzhen Open and Sydney International, where she was defending champion.

But the aggressive baseliner put the ordeal behind her in the first round, sweeping past Thai qualifier Kumkhum 6-3, 6-1 in 70 minutes in blazing heat on Rod Laver Arena.

It was payback for the Czech, who fell at the opening hurdle to Kumkhum in 2014.

"I had a great off-season with fitness and tennis preparation and when I got to China I got some stomach virus or something and I was just laying around and going quite often to the toilet for eight to nine days," Kvitova said.

"So I didn't eat very well and I lost some weight and that's why I withdrew from Sydney as well.

"But I'm feeling much better now."

Kvitova, who is playing in her eighth Australian Open, with a semi-final appearance in 2012 her best showing so far, broke the Thai star to go 5-3 clear in the opening set then served out in 36 minutes.

She maintained the momentum in the second set, racing 3-0 clear before her opponent pulled a break back. But it was too little too late, with the world number six clinching the match on a Kumkhum double fault.

"I'm very pleased with how I played today, how I handled the nerves and everything," Kvitova said.

"First rounds are always very tough and for me it was my first match of the season so I'm really glad how I did."

Kvitova is coming off a solid 2015 where she won titles in Sydney, Madrid and New Haven, while making the decider of the season-ending WTA Finals which Pole Agnieszka Radwanska won.

She next faces local hope Daria Gavrilova who beat another Czech, Lucie Hradecka.

Read more on:    australian open  |  petra kvitova  |  tennis

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