After a terrifying ordeal, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has emerged from the surgery that injured her hand. Her spokesman Karel Tejkal says she is feeling good after the procedure and her surgeon considers the operation a success.
The Czech tennis star’s comeback is a stunning story of resilience, but it’s also a reminder of how lucky she was to be able to play in the first place. She was attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in her apartment in the small town of Prostejov, Czech Republic on Tuesday morning and suffered severe injuries to her left hand.
She had four hours of surgery to repair her tendons and two nerves in her left hand that were cut by the perpetrator during the attack. She has been on a long road of physical therapy since the incident, but she’s determined to return to the court and win more titles this year, her spokesman told CNN.
A year and a half ago, it was not thought that the two-time Wimbledon champion would ever be able to play tennis again. After a knife-wielding intruder attacked her at her home in the Czech Republic, she had to undergo hours of surgery to repair her tendons and nerves.
During her recovery, she played on a regular basis in Prague, where she has spent most of her life, winning a number of singles tournaments. She also helped lead the Czech Republic to a fifth Fed Cup title in November, and her strong performances in Asia saw her rise to 11th in the world rankings for 2016.
But she’s been off the tour for over a year now, and even though she made an incredible comeback this season with a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, her poor results at Grand Slam events have put her out of the top 10 for the first time in a decade. Her performance this week at the Australian Open will help her regain the form that helped her reach the French Open final in 2016, but it’s not an automatic ticket to a return to Grand Slam play.
It could take her until the middle of 2017 to get back to full competition, based on her initial plan. She is expected to wear a cast for six to eight weeks and will be unable to bear weight for three months while her hand heals.
She will start slow rehabilitation at around six to eight weeks after the surgery, and she’s hoping to return for a few Grand Slam events in the fall. That’s assuming her doctors can safely clear her for a return to competitive play, which is not guaranteed by any means.
The attack was a tragic and scary incident, but it also shook the global tennis community to its core. Several players expressed their condolences, and fans sent her their best wishes.
After a long road of physical therapy, she returned to the court for the first time in four months at the French Open. She had lost her second round match against Shuai Zhang in New Haven, but it was an indication that she is slowly recovering from the trauma. She is one of the most popular and grounded of international women’s tennis players, a player who is always happy to spend some time in her home country.