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White Group: Kvitova In Her Element

Three years ago, Petra Kvitova confirmed her status as one of tennis’ brightest talents by embarking on a 12-match win streak that saw her crowned WTA Finals champion and end the Czech Republic’s 23-year wait for Fed Cup glory.

Unfortunately for Kvitova, the opportunities to strut her stuff under the roof are few and far between. In fact, her opening match at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, against Agnieszka Radwanska, will be just her fourth indoors in 2014.

Over the past few decades, several indoor events have disappeared from the calendar, making those remaining all the more special for Kvitova.

"I've missed it so much. It's finally time when I can play indoor this year," Kvitova said. "I was supposed to play in Paris but I had to withdraw because I was ill."

Kvitova got the chance to sample conditions on the Centre Court at the Singapore Sports Hub during her practice session on Friday and was suitably impressed.

"Yeah, I'm glad it's indoor of course. I like to play here and it's a beautiful venue. The centre court is very nice - it's purple, my favorite color!"

"If I'm comparing, I think it's very similar to the years in Istanbul. Maybe a little bit faster from the beginning, but not really big difference. I hope that the people will come and will support us and make an amazing atmosphere. I think we can really looking forward for the great matches here."

One match that is likely to capture the public's imagination is her round robin clash with Maria Sharapova. The two have already met once in Asia this autumn, Sharapova prevailing over three rollercoaster sets in the China Open final, and there will be just as much to play for when they take to the court in Singapore.

Sharapova, who could yet wrest the year-end No.1 ranking from Serena Williams’ grasp, has plenty of fond memories of the tournament, which she won as a debutante in Los Angeles 10 years ago.

"I couldn't believe that I was part of a field at that point in my career," Sharapova said. "Yeah, it was in Los Angeles where I had been training with Robert for so many years. It felt like a home tournament in a way for me. I remember the players - it was of course a very tough field as always.

"Just going through the draw there and the way that I felt and the way I played, I've seen some clips as well, very inspiring. I certainly hope I can do that here again."

 

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