Petra Kvitova: Passport, money, racquets, shoes - my checklist

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova won her second Wimbledon title last summer and claimed her 16th career title earlier this month. In her latest exclusive column for BBC Sport, the world number four describes how she ended Serena Williams's unbeaten run in Madrid and looks ahead to the French Open.

Petra packing - 'what is important?'

It's not only sportswear and equipment that you have to take with you to tournaments, sometimes you need to bring something a bit more glamorous.

I don't have anything with me in Paris because I knew I wouldn't have time to go to the player party, so I'm without a dress. Hopefully it won't be a problem, but if so I'll just have to buy one - it's a good excuse!

Petra Kvitova
Kvitova was on the red carpet recently for the Madrid Open's player party

I spend a lot of my time packing. It's a routine and I know what I need, but I still like to make a list beforehand and usually pack in the afternoon as I prefer to rest the evening before travelling.

When something I need comes to mind I write a note on my phone and the morning before I go, I double check everything - strings, grips, racquets, shoes of course.

I have six racquets and usually two pairs of tennis shoes with me. Most of the time the shoes can last two or three weeks, if I'm playing all the week. I'm not the kind of player who slides a lot so I just need one extra pair in my bag.

Basically, I always think 'what is important?' The passport, money, racquets and shoes. That's what I need for sure!

Comeback success in Fed Cup and Madrid

Fed Cup was good, Stuttgart was quick, Madrid was amazing, Rome was OK - I think that's a good description of my comeback!

After taking a six-week break to recharge my batteries, the Fed Cup was a good event to return at, although there were more nerves than usual.

Everyone was thinking 'What's going to happen? How's Petra going to play after the time off?' I didn't feel pressure so much as uncomfortable in the situation. I didn't know what to expect from myself as I'd had really great practice, but of course the matches are different. But we won our semi-final [against France] and my Sunday match was much better than the Saturday.

A graphic showing the number of matches, time on court and equipment Petra Kvitova has used since 15 April
Petra Kvitova will play Marina Erakovic in the first round of the French Open

My first tournament on clay in Stuttgart was quick but it meant I was able to go home and practise.

In Madrid, the conditions are always better for me. It suits my game: fast clay, high altitude, the balls fly really well. Everything was great, I felt really good; I got my first win over Serena and won the tournament for the second time.

When you play Serena you never know how it's going to go, however you are feeling, but I won a set for once and thought, 'Phew! That was good.' But I knew I still had to play well. In the end I made it but I couldn't think about it too much because there was still the final to come, and that's what we play for.

After I beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final, I could enjoy it.

Touchdown in Paris - heavy legs, movie time

My journey to Paris from the Czech Republic was a bit weird as we had a delayed flight for one hour because there were some computer troubles in the plane.

When we finally arrived, I practised for just 45 minutes as you always have heavy legs after travel. I didn't go to the player party because I finished late and there were still a few things to do.

Paris is a beautiful city but I must admit I don't get out to see much during the tournament. I prefer to relax in the apartment, watching some movies.

We are a team of four here after I travelled to Rome only with my boyfriend, which was a little bit different. We decided after Stuttgart that I needed a more relaxed tournament before Paris and it was a good decision I think.

Petra Kvitova
Despite enjoying Rome, Kvitova was beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in the Italian Open quarter-finals

I still felt a little bit tired from Madrid but had two wins in Rome before losing to Carla Suarez Navarro, who was just too good.

Here in Paris I have a big apartment I share with my team: a stringer, my mental coach, plus tennis coach David Kotyza. We have fun.

My fitness trainer Alex Stober is no longer with me though; we split after Stuttgart. I'm looking for a new fitness coach, which I hope to find after Roland Garros. I'm happy for everything Alex did and I'm sure I'll take some things with me in the future.

Don't tell me the draw

I did see the French Open draw but I only know I'm playing Marina Erakovic in the first round, that's enough for me. I really don't look any further.

If I win the first round then I ask my coach who I'm playing in the second round. Sometimes he doesn't know either and I find out from the media!

When I was younger I used to think ahead too much and that would make me lose concentration in the match I was playing. Now I hope it's a little bit different, but I still think it's better to just focus on the match in front of me.

Petra Kvitova was talking to BBC Sport's Piers Newbery

Petra Kvitova
Kvitova has arrived in Paris without a fitness trainer after she parted ways with Alex Stober after Stuttgart

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