Petra Kvitova – Losses Mounting as Wimbledon 2016 Nears
The two-time former champion from the All England club is nowhere near her best tennis as the grass-court Grand Slam nears.
Petra Kvitova has seen far better days in her distinguished career on the WTA Tour. Twice a winner at Wimbledon, Kvitova of late has not been close to the kind of Slam-capturing tennis that her fans are used to seeing out of her. Most recently she lost in the second round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham to World No. 38 Jelena Ostapenko. The result follows a parade of losses to other players, many of which are not usually close to competing with the two-time Grand Slam champion.
At the French Open, Kvitova suffered a three-set defeat to Shelby Rogers, a player who was ranked outside of the Top 100 at the time of their match. Earlier in Rome, Kvitova lost to Madison Keys, a player who was ranked 24th at the time of their clay-court encounter. With other losses this season to Daria Gavrilova (x2), Madison Brengle, Ekaterina Makarova, and Sasai Zheng it’s fair to say that it’s not always taking an elite player to take Kvitova out of a draw.
With Wimbledon approaching, Kvitova is still considered one of the core players to win the major. Numerous sportsbooks make her the 2nd favorite (ie. bet365), undoubtedly because of her history of success at the event. However, the rankings of numerous players that Kvitova has been losing to of late suggest that she might have a very tough time even making the third round. She’ll be seeded about 11th in the event and she won’t have to face an elite player early. But she could get a tough non-seeded player in the early rounds, like Brengle, Rogers, Makarova, Sabine Lisicki, or Kirsten Flipkens.
With few significant wins this season, it’s difficult to picture Kvitova doing the kind of damage at Wimbledon that she has been known to cause in the past. Following her loss in Birmingham, she still has next week’s Eastbourne event to try and set things straight. However, her play has been off for such a long time that it’s starting to look like she might drift out to a ranking of about 20th to 25th before season’s end.
That’s good news for the other Wimbledon contenders and WTA players, namely Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka, CoCo Vandeweghe, Madison Keys and maybe even a re-surging Tsvetana Pironkova. However, Czech fans might have to look to Barbora Strycova or Karolina Pliskova for a contender when play starts in the London suburb later this month.