Petra Kvitova admits she has to improve or can forget about Dubai title

Updated 20 February 2019
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Petra Kvitova admits she has to improve or can forget about Dubai title

  • Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova looking far from her best in another three-set trial.
  • World No. 4 only too aware of improvements needing to be made to have chance of glory.

LONDON: Petra Kvitova knows she has to improve or she can forget winning a second Dubai title.
That was the frank assessment the world No. 4 gave herself after she finally saw off the challenge of Jennifer Brady 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 at the Aviation Club. Kvitova arrived in Dubai as on the back of making the Australian Open final last month and as one of the favorites. But having been taken to three sets in her past two matches the Czech is looking far from potential champion material and that is something she readily admitted.
“(It’s) definitely a relief right now,: the two-time Wimbledon champion said.
“But I think in couple of minutes or hours, it will be really exhausting.
“I tried to be quicker today than yesterday (against Katerina Siniakova). “I did little bit better, but still was pretty tough.
“The wind was just terrible today, to be honest. It was really difficult to kind of find a way with it. I couldn’t really serve well today at all.
“It’s been big struggle for me.”
After her win over her compatriot Siniakova, Kvitova admitted all was not well with her game. But it was more in the sense of early tournament creases needing to be ironed out, rather than any worrying trends that might deal a forehand smash to her title chances. Having won the first set 7-5 against Brady the Czech lost her rhythm and suffered a 6-1 turnaround in the second.
She admitted she was unable to recover from a poor first game.
“That was probably the worst game which I played, I think the first game,” the 28-year-old said.
“From the time, I don’t know, probably mentally I just dropped and I can’t really handle it, my serve afterwards. I lost that game. From that time, it was like really quick.
“I’m happy that I started better in the third, which I started with my serve. Obviously it was better, but still I was down 40-15. I turned it around, I don’t know how, but I did. It was really important.”
Those hardly sound like words of someone confident they will be lifting the trophy on Saturday evening. Having spent over five hours on court in her two matches so far Kvitova was quick to dismiss the idea that she has an advantage heading into the later stages, there being no danger she starts her quarterfinal against Viktoria Kuzmova undercooked.
“I don’t think (two long matches will help),” Kvitova said.
“(But) I didn’t really have many days of practice (before the first round), to be honest. I
“I wasn’t really that prepared for this tournament.”


Ravi Ashwin unrepentant over ‘Mankad’ mayhem in IPL

Updated 26 March 2019
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Ravi Ashwin unrepentant over ‘Mankad’ mayhem in IPL

  • India spinner says law shows he was within his rights to run out Buttler.
  • Ashwin told he is a 'disgrace' by Shane Warne and other former players.

LONDON: Ravi Ashwin has reignited the heated debate over whether the “spirit of the game” should be considered when potentially running out an opposition batsman.
Coming into bowl during his Kings XI Punjab side’s match against the Rajasthan Royals the Indian spinner checked his run as Royals batsman Jos Buttler left his crease, and whipped off his bails. Known as a “Mankad” the dismissal is within the laws of the game but critics say it is unsportsmanlike and not in the spirit of the deeply traditional sport.

 


Australian spin king Shane Warne was just one of a number of former players who took to Twitter to attack Ashwin for the dismissal saying: “As captain of your side you set the standard... Why do such a disgraceful and low act like that tonight?” tweeted the Australian.
“You must live with yourself and FYI — it’s too late to say sorry Mr.Ashwin. You will be remembered for that low act.”

But Ashwin was in no mood for contrition and claimed so long as the dismissal is legal he, and others, should have no problem continuing getting batsmen out that way.
“On my part, it was very instinctive,” the 32-year-old said.
“It was not planned or anything like that. It’s there within the rules of the game. I don’t understand where the spirit of the game comes, naturally if it’s there in the rules it’s there.
“I don’t understand the point of ‘sporting’ in that point because it’s rules.”
The dismissal prompted Buttler to shout in the direction of Ashwin as he walked off the pitch and a Royals collapse, losing seven wickets for 16 runs as Kings XI Punjab won by 14 runs.