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Petra Kvitova marches into third round of Wimbledon

Petra Kvitova`s decision to give her shoes an almighty whack with her racket turned out to be a masterstroke as the Czech`s legs finally started to move more freely, and she eked out a 7-5 6-2 win over Kristina Mladenovic at Wimbledon on Thursday.

Petra Kvitova marches into third round of Wimbledon
Image Courtesy: Reuters

Petra Kvitova`s decision to give her shoes an almighty whack with her racket turned out to be a masterstroke as the Czech`s legs finally started to move more freely, and she eked out a 7-5 6-2 win over Kristina Mladenovic at Wimbledon on Thursday.

The sixth seed did not exactly enjoy the most promising of starts - she was broken in the opening game and fell 5-3 behind when she squandered three break points in the eighth game.

Kvitova took out her frustrations on her personalised shoes, giving one of them such a powerful blow with her racket frame that it briefly left her grimacing -- and that proved to be her French opponent`s undoing.

Two games later, Kvitova saved three set points to level for 5-5 and it was a setback Mladenovic could not recover from.

The 2011 and 2014 champion, still sporting a bandage around her left elbow after missing the French Open with an arm injury, started swinging more freely as she won 10 of the last 12 games to book a third-round place for the first time since 2015. 

"I didn`t want the same result as last year, being back on Court One," said the left hander who was beaten in the first round at the same arena 12 months ago.

"I started very slowly and I was pretty nervous in my first service game, it was pretty tough from my side and I couldn`t really play my game. 

"I was waiting for my chance and it came at 4-3 when she was serving but I didn`t make it. At 5-4, I was down three set points during that game and suddenly I made it and from that time I felt much, much better.

"So I`m glad I now have better memories on Court One," she added with a smile.

Kvitova will next face Poland`s Magda Linette for a place in the last 16.