| EASTBOURNE, England, June 20
EASTBOURNE, England, June 20 Pressure? No
problem, says Petra Kvitova as she prepares to defend her
Wimbledon title next week.
"The pressure is there and it's normal, but without pressure
it would be boring," the Czech world number four told Reuters.
"The expectation is big, but I'm glad that my team and me
are not really thinking about the pressure too much."
After becoming only the fourth female left-hander to win a
grand slam in the professional era, life changed for the shy
Kvitova, in good ways and bad.
Her results for the rest of 2011 veered from the excellent -
winning the end-of-season WTA Championships and leading her team
to Fed Cup victory - to the disappointing, such as a first-round
loss at the U.S. Open when she hit 52 unforced errors against
unseeded Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru.
"After Wimbledon, I didn't have good matches and good
results. But I think that it's normal because it's the first
time and everything is new and it's a new experience," said
"Life changed too, I had a lot of media stuff to do and
sponsors, and people recognised me everywhere so it's not easy.
But anyway it's the good part of our tennis life."
Sitting in the sunshine at the seaside resort of Eastbourne,
where she finished runner-up to Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in
the week before Wimbledon last year, Kvitova reflected on her
best memory from the All-England Club.
"I think that it's the last point, the ace, and then when I
had the trophy in my hand, I think that is forever in my mind,"
she said, recalling her 6-3 6-4 victory over Russian Maria
Sharapova in last year's final.
"I am so honoured to return to Wimbledon as defending
champion and I am looking forward to the match when I step on to
the Centre Court again.
"I think that I will have goosebumps again when I go through
the gates for the first time."
After reaching the semi-finals on clay at the French Open
two weeks ago, when Sharapova took revenge before going on to
win the title, Kvitova had to rush to get match-fit on her
"I am glad to be back on the grass," she said. "I feel so
She expects Sharapova, who reclaimed the world number one
ranking with her Roland Garros victory, to be the favourite next
week and is delighted at having a bonus event at her beloved
Wimbledon this year - the London Olympic tournament taking place
there in July and August.
"Unfortunately the season is too short playing on the grass
but we have the Olympics, so it is one more big event and I am
so happy that I can come back and play my game again," Kvitova
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Robert Woodward)