Paris - Petra Kvitova admitted she still finds the attention that comes with
being a Grand Slam winner difficult to deal with after starting her French Open
bid with a laboured victory against Marina Erakovic.
The Czech fourth seed took almost two and a half hours to get the better of
80th-ranked New Zealander Erakovic in front of a largely deserted Court
Philippe Chatrier on Tuesday, eventually progressing 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to a
second-round tie against Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa.
The tall left-hander came up with some impressive forehand winners from the
back of the court but was broken six times and committed 47 unforced errors as
she struggled to make it five wins out of five against Erakovic.
"I have to say the conditions weren't really easy for me. I think it
was quite cold and the balls are really heavy, and they didn't really
fly," she said.
"It was very difficult today. It was quite a long match, big fight.
Sometimes I couldn't win my serve. So it was a little bit difficult. But that's
how it is in the first round of Grand Slams. I'm just glad I'm still in and
"She's a really smart player with a good touch. So, yeah, I knew it's
gonna be difficult.
"I played her last time here, as well, and it was two sets. But,
anyway, every match is different. I'm just glad that I won."
It was not the most convincing of starts for a player who was a
semi-finalist in Paris in 2012 and is fresh from winning the title on clay in
Madrid earlier this month, a performance that will have further raised
expectations around her back home in the Czech Republic.
She is the leading name among the 11 Czech players in the women's draw, but
Kvitova, who won Wimbledon last year for the second time, says she has never
fully got used to being in the limelight.
"It took me a while to get used to all these things - sponsors, and the
media and TV and everything," admitted the 25-year-old, who took a
six-week break from the sport earlier this year citing exhaustion.
"So I think it really has to find the balance between everything and it
was really difficult. And still I'm happy if I can close the door of my
apartment," she added with a smile.