NEWLY-CROWNED Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova admits she did not believe she would carve out a career in tennis.
The 21-year-old from the Czech Republic claimed her maiden grand slam with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over 2004 winner Maria Sharapova on Saturday.
That landmark triumph has elevated her to the A-list of the women’s game – way beyond the modest ambitions harboured by the teenage Kvitova.
“Until I was nine I was probably the best but then I was third or fourth in my age group,” she said.
“I didn’t think I could be professional because I was practising only after school for an hour or an hour and a half.”
Kvitova is the latest player to capitalise on the absence of a dominant force on the women’s tour, but insists it is too early to write off the Williams sisters, who have missed much of the last year.