Tennis

Ball boy saves the day for fan-craving Kvitova

A little ball boy peeking from behind a fence gave Petra Kvitova the only touch of the fan support she misses at the Czech Tennis President’s Cup charity tournament played behind closed doors on Tuesday (May 26).

“It was after I played a decent passing shot down the line,” said Kvitova, following her victory over doubles specialist Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets.

“I ended up near the fence and he said ‘nice one’ to me. So I answered: ‘Thank you’,” the two-time Wimbledon champion chuckled.

But she conceded it felt “very weird” to play without an audience at the all-Czech tournament in Prague marked by strict hygiene measures designed to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It feels very strange. I thought I might cheer for myself quite a few times or say something aloud and then I decided not to,” the world No. 12 said of the rather solemn atmosphere.

“The audience is crucial, it’s an engine for me.”

Her two friends sitting by the court called on her to “tear” a few times, while her coach limited himself to just a few subdued “pojd” (come on), which is Kvitova’s trademark cheer.

“I thought at least the coach could clap for me and it didn’t happen. It was really weird,” said the 30-year-old Kvitova.

And, recalling the ball boy moment, she added: “It was a good shot. Normally I would have yelled.” – AFP

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