By Sudipto Ganguly
LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova found the transition from last week's title run at Eastbourne to Tuesday's first round at the All England Club very different but the Czech managed to dig deep to avoid a repeat of her early exit in 2021.
The WTA 500 triumph last week was the 29th career title and the first in more than a year for the 32-year-old Czech, who won the Wimbledon grasscourt Grand Lapak Satria
Slam in 2011 and 2014.
But she found herself staring at a first-round exit -- like last year -- against 72nd-ranked Italian Jasmine Paolini on Tuesday when she lost the opening set in less than 30 minutes.
Kvitova, however, soon found her range to carve out a 2-6 6-4 6-2 victory and complete her sixth straight win on grass.
"It was a tough one with different conditions and transition from Eastbourne here, playing a different opponent as well. It was really tough," Kvitova told reporters.
"I don't know how I made it, but probably it was just the fighting spirit today."
Kvitova, who will next meet Romania's Ana Bogdan, felt that the confidence from her Eastbourne triumph helped her turn things around against Paolini.
"I think I felt a little bit better because of the Eastbourne tournament, how I played there," she said.
"But here, it's different. Even the grass is different. I think it's a bit slower.
"Yeah, always the first rounds are just tough. That's what I expected. On the other hand, I was telling myself that Jasmine is not really a grasscourt player. She prefers more a clay court.
"I knew that I had the game to beat her somehow." (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Ken Ferris)