A “hurting” Petra Kvitova refused to make excuses Wednesday after slumping out of the Australian Open with a tough three-sets loss to Sorana Cirstea in the second round.
The two-time Grand Slam winner hit back strongly after losing the first set, but her challenge fell apart as she went out 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 after 44 unforced errors and seven double faults.
Ninth seed Kvitova had dominated the match-up prior, winning five of their seven clashes, but a confident Cirstea was ruthless in the deciding set.
It was an impressive victory for the Romanian, who underwent hard quarantine and couldn’t leave her hotel room for 14 days.
Kvitova, whose quarantine allowed training blocks of five hours daily, rued missed opportunities.
“I think this match wasn’t really about the quarantine or just practising differently,” she said. “I should have taken the first set when I was leading a break… it would be a different story.
“I think that was really the key of the match. It was quite a rollercoaster.”
The 2019 Australian Open finalist finished last year on a high, reaching the semi-finals of the French Open, but has had a difficult time after emerging from quarantine in Australia.
She won just one match at the warm-up Yarra Valley Classic before falling to Nadia Podoroska of Argentina in three sets.
“It’s a little painful and I’m really disappointed about my loss… really hurting” added Kvitova, 30. “I didn’t really bring the best tennis today.”
Cirstea, ranked 68, plays Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in the third round.