Petra Kvitova has scraped through her first round encounter at the French Open with a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg. Having already achieved tremendous success throughout the clay court season, the Czech went into the Grand Slam tournament as the hot favourite. However, the Czech looked vulnerable early on against Cepede Royg, who was playing well on her preferred surface. Kvitova, who has already won four WTA titles this year, showed incredible class to overcome a shaky start and move into the second round at Roland Garros for the eighth straight year. Kvitova will now play Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena who dispatched of Timea Babos in straight sets earlier today.
The former French Open semifinalist started slowly against the ever-steady Cepede Royg. The 28-year-old Kvitova had trouble against the extremely consistent play of the Paraguayan. Kvitova effectively handed the opening set to Cepede Royg, hitting an abysmal 17 unforced errors as she searched for answers.
However, Kvitova bounced back and raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set. The left-hander was starting to look a lot more comfortable on court and was able to take full advantage her break point opportunities, burying the 26-year-old Cepede Royg. The Czech cut back on unforced errors and put forward a much more well-rounded display as she levelled up the match with a 6-1 score line.
But Cepede Royg was not going down without a fight. The Paraguayan regained her confidence and was able to match it with the 8th seed for much of the third set. However, at 5-5 in the final set, Cepede Royg was broken and could do little to stop the big-hitting Czech as she served out the match in stunning fashion.
Amazingly, throughout the course of the match, Kvitova only won one more point than her opponent. The Czech star will need to improve upon this performance as she moves into the later rounds of the Grand Slam tournament. Despite the slight scare, Kvitova is looking strong and should still be considered one of the favourites to take the title.