Aegon Classic champ @Petra_Kvitova watches Ashleigh Barty deliver her runner-up speech pic.twitter.com/uknJz3yJQm— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) June 25, 2017
Winning her opening round at the French Open was a very emotional victory for Petra Kvitova. Barely losing her second round wasn't too shabby, either. Then she stepped onto the grass and did what Petra does best--slay. In Birmingham, Kvitova beat lucky loser Tereza Smitkova, wild card Naomi Broady, 5th seed Kiki Mladenovic, her friend, Lucie Safarova (by retirement), and a red hot Ash Barty, who did some very heavy lifting to get to the final.
Oh--and The Barking Czech won the Birmingham title with incomplete feeling in her left hand. You know--that hand.
Barty took Kvitova to three sets, and you know how that can sometimes work out for the Czech star. But no worries--Kvitova won the final with a 35/25 winner-unforced error result, and that included hitting thirteen aces. She also had long stretches of being Scary Petra, and--considering all that she's been through--there couldn't have been a more beautiful thing for us to watch.
From her performances in Paris and Birmingham, there is reason to postulate that experiencing a near-end to her career (and perhaps her life) may have caused Kvitova to give up her self-destructive on-court meltdowns that have kept her from winning the many major titles she "should" have won. Her priorities have been rearranged; she could be a lot looser from now on.
I should note that it would be just as likely--if not more so--that the trauma would have made the Czech star even more anxious and less self-confident. Every time we suffer a trauma, we are re-visited by any former traumas we have expeienced. If those former traumas (and we've all suffered some) were not resolved, their subsequent visits are especially intense.
Also, immediate, appropriate treatment of a trauma provides a dramatically better outcome than postponed, non-existent and/or incompetent treatment. We know that Kvitova received immediate, expert treatment for her hand injury, and I hope she received the same for the emotional/cognitive injury.
Other factors also come into play, including a trauma victim's general outlook, her level of social and healthcare support, and her ability to transcend obstacles.
So far, the outlook for Petra appears to be excellent. She is already an inspiration to those who saw her play in Paris and Birmingham. She won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014: do the math, and bring on the pineapples!