The fans and crowd were blindsided by a player's withdrawal when there was no hint, medical timeout or distress shown on their face. Czech player Petra Kvitova had played a routinely great opening round at the St. Petersburg Open in Russia.
She would meet with Alison Van Uytvanck, a player who she's never played before. Kvitova, ranked just a slip out of the top 10, was the favorite to win against the Belgian player ranked No. 47 and it did happen. The opening set was tied at 4-all and Van Yytvanck decided to become more aggressive which worked in her favor resulting in a 5-4 lead.
But Kvitova broke through and the set went to a tiebreak with Kvitova coming up super aggressive to lead 6-1 in points and won 7-6. Things appeared to be normal for both players as Kvitova took the opening game. The Belgian wasn't having any of this domineering play and performed without much errors to win the second set very easily 6-1.
She had thought it would be her match but the Czech had no cause but to lead with opening up the court, a netcord and good volleys to show all of her 27 WTA title experience. Kvitova led in the deciding set with clipping the lines and just playing with great passion and precision.
It was 4-2 which gave Van Uytvanck the slight chance to break through but it was a no-deal as Kvitova swept right through with a few more intense and quick games to win the opening round 7-6, 1-6, 6-2. She'd walk over to the center of the court to briefly shake hands and the match was done.
Kvitova would wave to the crowd as they all applauded but little did they know it was a final wave from the entire Russian tournament. The second round the Czech would go up against Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russia, playing in her hometown with the crowd's advantage.
But it wasn't to be as Kvitova announced her departure from the tournament. "I'm ready sorry to withdraw from the St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy due to illness..." There was an astonishment and shock that gripped the tennis community when they expected to see a great match between the Russian and the Czech.
Everyone shook their heads in disbelief from there not being an outward sign of sickness or injury. Kvitova explained that "I wasn't feeling well during my match yesterday and hoped I would feel better today, but unfortunately that's not the case."
Many had started giving their own diagnosis of possibly her hand and arm ailment starting up from the accident a few years ago. She had in the past said that the numbness was there and the arm at times would swell slightly.
It wasn't visible to the crowd and Kvitova played an excellent game. There wasn't a medical timeout to detect what part of the body was in a sickened condition so everything was a total surprise on the Czech leaving the tournament.
What should revolve now is Petra Kvitova getting the treament for whatever ailment or illness she has and seeing if it's possible to continue on tour. Will this illness be ongoing or of short duration? Everyone is wondering and hoping for the best and anticipating soon to see Kvitova back on the court doing well with no injuries or sickness.