Kvitova fighting to save her career
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The shock news yesterday that Petra Kvitova has suffered a knife attack in her own apartment in Prostejov, some 160 miles southeast of Prague, has left the tennis world reeling. Not only that, it brings back the memories of that horrendous attack on Monica Seles at a tournament in Hamburg back in 1993.
What has happened to me was not pleasant at all, but it is already behind me
That attack was by a deranged Steffi Graf fan, while the attacker on the popular double Wimbledon champion, remains unknown.
However, he has left Kvitova with injuries which could well be career-ending. As she defended herself she suffered serious injuries to her left hand her racket hand and required nearly four hours of surgery to repair the damage to her cut fingers and tendons.
Her attacker gained access to her apartment by declaring himself to be servicing the flats facilities and there is no evidence that she was being targeted for the person she was. He fled the building allegedly with just some Î£150 worth of cash.
Karel Tejkal, spokesman for the Czech Fed Cup team, told the Czech media Tuesday morning, that the attack had been a random criminal act confirming that Kvitova had not been specifically targeted with the local media reporting the intruder had presented himself as a boiler inspector.
The Czech world number 11 said before undergoing surgery that the attack had left her shaken, but fortunate to be alive.
In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand, Kvitova said on Twitter. 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.
Earlier in the week she had announced she wouldnÈt be playing the Hopman Cup in Perth which starts on New YearÈs Day, as she hadnÈt fully recovered from a foot injury.
Her situation has now changed somewhat as she is now expected not to be able to train for at least three months. Her hand is expected to be in a cast for between two to three weeks and only time will tell whether she can make a full recovery.
The 26-year-old had also been due to play a charity event later in the day, with her Fed Cup team-mate Lucie Safarova in Brno, who reacted via the news website Aktualne.cz by declaring: What happened to Petra, can happen to any of us. I got goosebumps from it.
Safarova could also be referring to the horrendous attack to the former top tenner, Anna Chakvetasze, now retired. She and her family were tied up in their home in Moscow with her father receiving a pistol-whipping as their house was burgled.
KvitovaÈs colleagues and former players have been quick to offer their good wishes and support.
Amongst them Czech-born tennis great Martina Navratilova said on Twitter: Just finding out about @Petra_Kvitova and the awful stabbing and injury to her hand – pulling for you Petra.
World number three Agnieszka Radwanska tweeted. My thoughts are with @Petra_Kvitova. Terrible news, as did Caroline Garcia, French Open doubles champion All my thoughts and support to one of the nicest girls on the tour
What has happened to me was not pleasant at all, but it is already behind me, Kvitova said in a statement published on the Fed Cup teamÈs Facebook page.
The main thing for me now is that the doctors will determine how my hand is doing. I trust them and I believe that it will end well.
The powerful left-hander has been in the worldÈs top 10 for most of the past five years, rising to number two in 2011 when she won the first of her two Wimbledon singles titles.
She slipped in the rankings this year to 11 but showed improved form in recent months, winning the Wuhan Open title in October and the season-ending WTA Elite trophy in November.