Kvitova fighting to be fit for clay season
April 13, 2012 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
World No. 3 Petra Kvitova is hoping a tough fitness regime will deliver her to the top spot.
Venus rises again
- Petra Kvitova hopes grueling training regime will help mark a triumphant comeback
- World No. 3 has been struggling for fitness and form in the past two months
- Training routine in Turkey included long distance running in the sand and weight lifting
- She will return this month in Fed Cup semifinals and then the Stuttgart clay event
(CNN) -- When Petra Kvitova won her first grand slam title at Wimbledon last year, many tipped the Czech to be the next world No.1.
However, the 22-year-old has not been able to repeat her stellar 2011 performances this year, struggling for form and fitness since losing in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January.
Now the world No. 3 is hoping that a grueling two-week training regime in Turkey will help put her back on track.
Long-distance running in the sand and weight lifting were all part of the punishing program ahead of Kvitova's WTA Tour return at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart at the end of this month.
"I need to improve my fitness part a lot," said Kvitova, who will first help the Czechs continue the defense of their Fed Cup title in the April 21-22 semifinal against Italy.
I feel tired right now but I hope that my fitness will show in the upcoming tournaments
"I have a lot of space to improve every part of my fitness and after illness in February I needed to take this step. I am trying to get faster and stronger. We are running a lot in the sand, long distance too, doing some hill running and also we spend a lot of time in gym. I am exhausted every evening, but hopefully it's worth it."
February was not a good month for Kvitova, who was forced to pull out of the Qatar Open with an injured Achilles tendon. Her woes continued when just one week later she was struck down with a virus that ruled her out of the Dubai Championships.
Then came a disappointing third-round loss at Indian Wells to 33rd-ranked American teenager Christina McHale, and defeat at the first hurdle in Miami against former world No. 1 Venus Williams -- who was making her comeback after longterm illness.
"Unfortunately I've had a small problem with my stomach muscle, but nothing serious," Kvitova said.
"I can still do all the important exercises. I feel tired right now but I hope that my fitness will show in the upcoming tournaments."
The Fed Cup tie in Ostrava will be held on a hard-court indoor surface, then Kvitova will begin her clay season in Germany.
"If I want to win good matches and the close matches with the best players, I have to be fit," she said.
"The matches can be decided by very small things and one of these is fitness. I need to reach more balls and be able to play longer matches to stay at the top of the sport."
Part of complete coverage on
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
South Africa may just have found another Paralympian to inspire a nation -- and perhaps the world.
November 26, 2013 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Marion Bartoli's tennis career had its ups and downs -- both personal and professional. Discover what has made the Wimbledon winner happy.
November 22, 2013 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Maria Sharapova has turned to her third coach of 2013 as she seeks to bounce back from shoulder problems.
November 21, 2013 -- Updated 1158 GMT (1958 HKT)
Hitting partner Sascha Bajin and coach Patrick Mouratoglou offer a glimpse into the life of the world No. 1.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Down and out in Paris, Serena Williams turned to a man who has helped her become more dominant than ever before.
November 20, 2013 -- Updated 1003 GMT (1803 HKT)
World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey tells CNN he doesn't think Novak Djokovic "has the faintest idea" what his organization does.
The Davis Cup can step up to a new level of popularity by following the example of football's top tournament, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
November 12, 2013 -- Updated 1546 GMT (2346 HKT)
A year that began with a fourth Australian Open title ended similarly triumphant for Novak Djokovic at the ATP Tour finale.
CNN's Will Edmonds says Serena Williams can match Steffi Graf's record haul of 22 grand slam titles following her U.S. Open triumph.
September 9, 2013 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
Two years after losing part of her lung during a blood clot operation, U.S. Open champion Serena Williams insists playing tennis "is just fun now."
September 4, 2013 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Her doubles playing dad is the sporting star of the family, but Micaela Bryan's Twitter page is making the toddler a viral sensation.
Roger Federer is now in danger of diminishing his incredible tennis legacy, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis parents don't have the best of reputations. Think Damir Dokic, John Tomic and Jim Pierce. However, Andy Murray's Mum is very different.
August 15, 2013 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
Marion Bartoli has retired from tennis with immediate effect, just six weeks after winning her first grand slam title at Wimbledon.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
When the women's singles champion at the U.S. Open picks up her $2.6 million check, she should spare a moment to thank Billie Jean King.
Today's five most popular stories