PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 30: Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic hits a backhand during the women's singles round four match between Na Li of China and Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic on day nine of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 30, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
"The pressure is there and it's normal, but without pressure it would be boring." - Petra Kviotva
That's what the 2011 Wimbledon champion said about defending her title. The Czech tennis player became just the fourth left-hander in women's tennis to win a slam in the professional era.
"The expectation is big, but I'm glad that my team and me are not really thinking about the pressure too much."
Kvitova didn't have the greatest rise from tennis after her first slam win. She was ousted in the opening round of the very next slam. Her 52 unforced errors probably didn't help.
The then 21-year-old yo-yoed back to the top when she won the WTA Championships, the final season of the year that invites only the top players.
Now, Kvitova is ranked No. 4 in the world. She hasn't picked up another Slam. A year ago, the Czech tennis player defeated Russia's Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 6-4, to win her All-England Club championship. This year, Sharapova is ranked No. 1 with a finals-round Aussie Open appearance and a fourth title at Roland Garros.
"I am so honoured to return to Wimbledon as defending champion and I am looking forward to the match when I step on to the Centre Court again. I think that I will have goosebumps again when I go through the gates for the first time," Kvitova said. "I am glad to be back on the grass. I feel so good."