Photo: Paul ZimmerPetra Kvitova (CZE)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Petra Kvitova needed two bites of the cherry against Kateryna Bondarenko at the Olympic Tennis Event on Saturday, but the No. 6 seed eventually held her nerve to win 64 57 64.
Kvitova, who is no stranger to the grass courts at The All England Club having won last year’s Wimbledon title, served for a place in the second round when she led 5-4 in the second set, only for Bondarenko to reel off three straight games and send the match into a decider.
However, the Czech left-hander regrouped and broke her Ukrainian opponent twice in the third set to help record a hard fought victory that lasted one minute short of two hours on No. 1 Court.
This was their fourth match against each other and the win for Kvitova levels the head-to-head score at 2-2. The world No. 6 won their first meeting in 2008, but Bondarenko claimed two victories in 2010.
“I played against her (in 2010) and I didn't play well. I don't like her game,” said Kvitova. “So, yeah, I thought it would be tough match for me. The first round is always really a little bit nervous for me. I hope the second round will be better and I'm glad that I won.”
Kvitova, who is making her Olympic singles debut at London 2012, will now face Peng Shuai in the second round. The world No. 29 from China defeated Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei 63 67(3) 75 in her opening match.
“I didn't play against her (before), so it will be a first meeting with her,” said Kvitova, who is ranked 23 places higher than her Chinese opponent. “I know she's playing really fast and flat shots, so we'll see.”
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