Australian_Open_logoWorld number four Petra Kvitova says she is determined to use this year’s Australian Open to make amends for her humiliating first round exit in the 2014 tournament.

The Czech bounced into last year’s event as the sixth seed but was sensationally dumped out by Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum in her opening match.

Currently enjoying a hot run of form and brimming with confidence after winning the Sydney International last week, Kvitova revealed she was still haunted by bad memories of last year and wanted to put them behind her.

“I’d like to forget about the last year, unfortunately it’s impossible,” she said. 

“On the other side I know I can do only better, so that’s the good thing. 

“I’m excited to play, of course, it’s a Grand Slam. It’s what I love to play. I’ll do everything I can to be better than last year because it was very disappointing. It wasn’t a really nice time for me.”

She opens her tournament against Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp on Tuesday.

The two-time Wimbledon champion has a patchy history in Melbourne, making the quarter-finals in 2011 and the semis a year later but failed to advance beyond the second round in her four other appearances at the season-opening Grand Slam.

But 2014 champion Li Na of China, who will not defend her Australian Open crown after retiring in September, has declared the 24-year-old will be the player to beat at this year’s tournament.

It is a statement that Kvitova said she was not entirely comfortable with.

“It’s nice of her (but) I dont really feel like a favourite, ” she said.

“I’m just coming here to try to focus on match after match if that’s possible… I don’t really think there’s one big, big favourite for the tournament. We’ll see.” – Agence France-Presse

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