In an incident that took place on Tuesday morning, Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was attacked in her home and a as a result sustained severe injury-wounds to her left hand.
The talented Czech tennis star had a rocky 2016 season, but found more consistent form at the conclusion of the year, which resulted in her narrowly missing out on the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Kvitova, 26, had only just pulled out of January’s Hopman Cup event due to a setback in her recovery from a foot injury. She originally planned to play the exhibition team event with Adam Pavlasek, but hours later received an even greater setback, when an intruder stepped foot into her home in Prostejov, southeast of the City of Prague.
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Kvitova confirmed the individual attack at her home on her Social Media earlier today:
“Thank you for all your heartwarming messages. As you may have already heard, today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife. In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand. I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this. Thank you all again for your love and support and now I would appreciate some privacy while I focus on my recovery.”
The future looks bleak for Kvitova as she prepares to hear the results of her four hour surgery today. Some reports from Czech Republic have determined that she has hurt tendons in her left hand, which would rule out the possibility of playing the Australian Open next month.
It looks like Kvitova could be spending a long time inactive because of this freak incident and will not pick up a tennis racquet until way beyond the first grand slam of the year. She had only just hired a new coach in Jiri Vanek, but now faces another obstacle in her pursuit for a third Grand Slam singles title.
Katie Spellman, Kvitova’s PR, prevented uncertainty surrounding Kvitova’s injury as she took to Twitter to reveal some answers from the surgery:
Petra has undergone surgery for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Considering the extent of the damage, the surgery went very well. Doctors repaired
to tendons in all five digits of the left hand as well as two nerves. Petra will wear a cast on her hand for 6-8 weeks and will be unable to
bear weight for 3 months. We hope to have more information for you tomorrow. Thank you for your incredible support
The more realistic time to expect Kvitova to make a return to a tennis court in a competitive state would be for the beginning of the clay court season. In the past, some players have avoided returning on a particular surface unless it prepares them for an upcoming Grand Slam, which is why the International event in Prague, on the clay, could be a poignant return for Kvitova.
Kvitova is no stranger to facing adversity. In the American hard court swing following the Australian Open of 2015, Kvitova felt something wasn’t right. Later that year, in the preparation for the US Open, she revealed she had been suffering with the ‘kissing disease’ mononucleosis, and discussed the uncertainty of how she would feel on the tennis court because of that diagnosis. Since that moment, she has still delivered some fine results on the tennis courts, including two Fed Cup victories with her country and winning three more titles, and also finishing finalist in the 2015 version of the WTA Finals.
This is another severe setback for Kvitova, but another setback that she looks set on overcoming.