Kvitova wins opening match on grass in Birmingham

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova plays a return to fellow country woman Tereza Smitkova during day two of the Birmingham Classic at Edgbaston Priory Birmingham England Tuesday

Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova plays a return to fellow country woman Tereza Smitkova during day two of the Birmingham Classic at Edgbaston Priory Birmingham England Tuesday

"I didn't just come back to play tennis because I want to be one of them [the players], I still want to win some big matches and big tournaments so I still do have motivation. It is just more relaxed for me, it is incredible", she stated with a smile lighting up her face. I really didn't know what was happening.

But Grass has always been the 27-year-old's preferred service and Kvitova quickly hit her straps at the Aegon Championship, racing to a 6-2 first-set lead. So that's important for me right now and it doesn't matter if I have many matches and if I win or lose or whatever. That win was a surprise for me and other people. "The second one was more special, deeper, I really enjoyed it more", added the Czech.

But Kvitova will not consider this a step towards an attempt on a third Wimbledon title just yet.

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Kvitova took one hour and 23 minutes to beat 22-year-old Smitkova, who is ranked 167th in the world.

"My hand is not 100 percent and may never be. I think I will have to get used to my 'new hand' if I can call it that, we are still anxious about some inflammation and that kind of thing but I think it is a small risk, now compared to a few months ago".

"The first days and first months were really hard mentally as well".

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This may well account for an indifferent start which saw her go 3-1 up when she might have gone 3-1 down. Though she battled hard in today's closing stages, saving three match points as she served to stay in the match, she found no answer to on return in the next game as Kvitova booked a second-round meeting with local wildcard Naomi Broady.

"Of course I still have to be careful about things".

"I always loved to play tennis but now it is a different level. So I think I'm getting over it, so it will be there probably for the rest of my life, but I think I will deal with it somehow", she said. I had good timing on the court today and I'm happy with the way I played.

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