Sport Tennis Tennis star Petra Kvitova out for six months after knife attack

Tennis star Petra Kvitova out for six months after knife attack

Petra Kvitov
Two–time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova has been subject to a horrific home invasion. Photo: Getty
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Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will be out of international tennis for six months after being attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in her home in the Czech Republic.

Kvitova’s spokeman Karel Tejkal said the world number 11 had undergone four hours of surgery to repair damage to tendons in her left hand — her playing hand — along with injuries to all five fingers and two nerves.

Tejkal initially said the surgery would mean Kvitova would miss the Australian Open and a significant part of the season as she won’t be able to fully train for at least three months.

However the surgeon who operated on her later said it would be six months out while her playing hand recovered its strength.

“She is a young athlete, healthy… but it still is a relatively massive injury,” said Radek Kebrle, adding that all the fingers on Kvitova’s left hand were hurt as she grabbed the attacker’s knife.

The Czech star said she was “fortunate to be alive” after being attacked in her apartment by an intruder armed with a knife on Tuesday.

Petra Kvitova injured
Petra Kvitova plays left handed and uses a double-handed backhand. Photo: AP/Michel Euler

“As you may have already heard, today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife,” Kvitova said on Twitter.

“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.”

The violent incident occurred in Kvitova’s apartment in Prostejov, Czech Republic, shortly after she had withdrawn from next week’s Hopman Cup event in Perth with a slow-healing foot injury.

“What happened to me, it was certainly not pleasant, but it’s behind me,” the 26-year-old Kvitova said on the Facebook page of the Czech Fed Cup team.

She has thanked fans for their love and support and has asked for privacy while she focuses on her recovery.

The incident resulted in stab wounds to the player’s left – and racket – hand and could put her participation in the first 2017 grand slam, the Australian Open from January 16, in doubt.

Petra Kvitova attack
Petra Kvitova’s apartment building in Prostejoy, east of Prague, where the attack took place. Photo: Ludek Perina/CTK via AAP

Kvitova has been suffering from a foot stress fracture, the original reason she pulled out of the Hopman event only hours before the home attack.

Her place in the Czech Republic team will be taken by three-time Grand Slam doubles champion Lucie Hradecka who will partner with Adam Pavlasek.

Tennis players targeted

Elite women’s tennis players have been subject to violent attacks on previous occasions, often resulting in fatal blows to their careers.

Top–ranked Monica Seles was stabbed during a match in Hamburg in 1993 and was out of the sport for two years.

In 2007, world number six Anna Chakvetadze and her family were assaulted during a home invasion in Moscow.  She was afterwards unable to better her semifinal placing in the US Open three months beforehand, and retired in 2013 at the age of 26.

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