Petra Kvitova (click to enlarge)
Welcome back to America, Petra Kvitova! I say this especially in relation to Petra because she has had her ups and downs playing in the United States. The biggest problem for her is her asthma flaring up when she comes here, which affects her play. This has led to some inexplicable losses to players nowhere in her universe. And so it was that she needed 3 sets to overcome the game Olga Govortsova, 6-4 3-6 6-3. But in the end, a win is a win. And let’s remember that she comes in off winning Dubai. In fact, not only did she win Dubai, she had to go through Daniela Hantuchova, Ana Ivanovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Sara Errani. That’s the Petra Kvitova I hope to see more of as her career and game develops.
Maria Sharapova (click to enlarge)
No problems for Maria Sharapova, as the reigning Roland Garros champion handled former Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone in straight sets, 6-2 6-1. Masha was the champion in Indian Wells in 2006 and comes in looking to improve on last year’s result as she did make it to the final, however ultimately falling to Victoria Azarenka in straight sets. It might come down to Masha and Vika again this year. But that’s jumping the gun. There are a lot of matches still to be played.
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Dominika Cibulkova and Petra Kvitova at BNP Paribas Player Party