Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says she sometimes wishes she could be a “normal human being” after admitting it is difficult to have a “real life” as a leading player.
“It’s tough to find friends, honest friends I mean. It’s tough to spend time with your family,” she said.
But the 30-year-old Czech says she still loves tennis and is motivated by winning the biggest titles again.
“If I don’t have the motivation to be great I will not play,” she said.
In an interview with Adrian Chiles on BBC Radio 5 Live, the world number 11 described the difficulties of travelling around the globe most of the year and says she is “really grateful” when she can see her parents.
“I think we don’t really have a real life to be honest,” she said in the interview to be aired on Friday.
“Because we are still on the road, we are still practising, playing matches, eating, sleeping.
“I love the game itself so for me I can enjoy it, for sure, when I am on the court itself. I love matches. I don’t really like practice but that’s how it is.
“We have to deal with so many things, with our nerves, with the pressure, with the pressure from outside. To be a public person is not easy.”
Kvitova, who won the titles at the All England Club in 2011 and 2014, has returned to the top of the game after being stabbed in her playing hand during a robbery at her home in the Czech Republic in December 2016.
The left-hander said she was fortunate to be alive after the incident, sustaining damage to ligaments and tendons when fighting off an intruder,
But she returned to the sport five months later and has won eight WTA titles since.
She reached the 2019 Australian Open final but lost to Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
“I’m not really the one who wants to be in the public eye and be in the newspapers, so sometimes it’s really tough for me to deal with it,” she said.
“On the other hand I’m kind of a good tennis player so it should be like this, probably.
“It’s really tough sometimes and definitely part of me wants to me to be a normal human being.
“But on the other hand I still love tennis and I still want to play tennis. Winning big tournaments is still the motivation and that’s why I’m still playing.”
You can hear the full interview on the Adrian Chiles show at 11:35 BST on Friday.