World No. 8 Petra Kvitova has admitted that she struggled to get over her Australian Open final loss to Naomi Osaka last year.
Kvitova was in outstanding form to start the season this time last year, winning the Apia International title in Sydney before surging through the draw at the Australian Open, advancing to her first Grand Slam final outside of Wimbledon.
However, despite a gallant fightback in the second set, she couldn’t get the better of a rampaging Osaka, who closed out the match in three sets, denying the Czech her third major crown.
Speaking ahead of her opening round clash against dangerous countrywoman Katerina Siniakova, Kvitova said she struggled to initially come to terms with her loss to Osaka before learning to look back at her run to the final with pride.
“It took me a while to get over the loss,” Kvitova said during a press conference on Saturday.
“After so many years, being in the final, it’s a great achievement. I should take it very positive. Even now when I’m here, it’s really feeling very nice and I do have the best memories.”
Kvitova would go on to struggle with an arm injury for a big chunk of the 2019 season and even though she qualified for the WTA Finals, she went 0-3 in the group stage.
The 29-year-old was also forced to withdraw from the Adelaide International last week, but that was more precautionary than anything ahead of the Australian Open.
Kvitova did admit she was concerned about the air quality in Melbourne – the Czech suffers from asthma – but fortunately, at least for the first few days of the tournament, there isn’t supposed to be much smoke engulfing Melbourne.
“I’ve been a bit worried about it. Now I’m very happy that, as I mentioned, the sky, it’s there again clearly. Of course, everybody knows that I do have asthma problems, which I wasn’t really happy about that if the air is still bad.
“It’s same for everybody, so it will be really difficult to breathe for sure. I do have my medicines here, as well. Yeah, I’m going to use it if it’s important.”
Kvitova, seeded seventh at the Australian Open, is scheduled to face Siniakova as the second match on Margaret Court Arena on Monday.