Back in December, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was attacked in her Czech Republic home by a knife-wielding intruder and suffered significant injuries to her racket-holding left hand. She underwent four hours of surgery and still isn’t fully recovered, but returned to WTA competition at the French Open last month. Now, in just her second tournament since the attack, the 27-year-old Kvitova has made the final, advancing to the final round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham Saturday.
Kvitova has been playing well throughout this tournament, and she was doing so again Saturday, putting up a 6-1, 1-0 lead on Lucie Safarova before Safarova retired with a leg injury. That sets up her match with Australian Ashleigh Barty in Sunday’s final. Kvitova said afterwards that she’s tried to stay focused on the good throughout her recovery, and that she’s feeling good.
“I am enjoying playing again,” Kvitova told the BBC after the match. “I couldn’t play for five or six months and I missed it. It wasn’t my choice to have a break but I always try to see positive things. I’m trying to enjoy tennis more and seeing things from a different angle.”
…”I’m happy that I’m in the final, but the way I am going is a bit weird. The hand is good, which is the best news which I can have, and I am not feeling any pain, and that’s the best news.”
“I couldn’t have imagined to have a better comeback than I am having now. You know, Paris was a bit weird and strange, and I couldn’t play the best over there. I am happy that I am able to show good tennis here. I played four matches already, so it’s a good record and good preparation for the final. I think that my game should be same as every other day, to play fast and aggressive and to show my serve again, and I hope it will help me again.”
It’s pretty remarkable how well Kvitova’s recovered, and how she’s managed to keep her focus so positive despite the awful injury she suffered. It’s great to see her back in top form and not experiencing pain, and finding success on the court yet again. And she’s one of the key figures in women’s tennis; she’s won two majors (Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014) and an Olympic bronze (2016), and has two other semifinal appearances (the Australian Open and the French Open in 2012), won the Tour Championships in 2011 and the WTA Elite Trophy in 2016. She’s been ranked as high as #2 in the world (back in 2011) and is currently ranked 16th despite her long injury layoff. She has 19 career WTA titles, too, and might be able to make that 20 Sunday.