Doctors optimistic for Petra Kvitova’s tennis future after knife attack

Doctors optimistic for Petra Kvitova’s tennis future after knife attack

Doctors are optimistic Petra Kvitova will be able to play tennis again after the two-time Wimbledon champion underwent surgery on the hand injury she suffered during a knife attack at her home.

The 26-year-old said she was "fortunate to be alive" after defending herself during a robbery in her apartment in Prostejove, Czech Republic.

The intruder posed as a utilities man seeking to read a meter to gain access to the apartment, Press Association Sport understands, before a struggle ensued.

It is understood the knife was put to Kvitova's throat and her left hand was injured as she pulled the weapon away.

Kvitova underwent a successful near four-hour operation on what is her racket-holding hand on Tuesday evening.

The Czech player will be out of action for at least three months, but her PR manager told Press Association Sport: "Doctors are optimistic she will be able to play tennis again."

Kvitova's PR manager continued: "Petra had surgery for three hours, 45 minutes. Considering the damage to her left hand, it was a success.

"She had tendon damage to all five digits on her left hand, and nerve damage to two of them.

"She's been told she will have to have her hand in a splint for six to eight weeks, and will be unable to bear any load for three months."

More information on how long Kvitova is likely to be out for is expected on Wednesday, but she is now certain to miss January's Australian Open as well as a host of other tournaments.

The year's second grand slam, the French Open, begins in late May while Wimbledon takes place in July.

Kvitova, who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, had already announced earlier on Tuesday that she would be missing January's Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia as she continues to recover from a foot injury.

The intruder who attacked Kvitova fled the scene after stealing 5,000 Czech Koruna (around £155), according to sport.cz.

The assailant on Tuesday afternoon was still being sought by police.

"I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive," Kvitova wrote on Facebook, speaking before her operation.

"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."

Kvitova thanked supporters for their messages, described the attack and that her left hand was injured as she defended herself.

"Thank you for all your heartwarming messages," she added.

"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.

"Thank you all again for your love and support and now I would appreciate some privacy while I focus on my recovery."

Her publicist Karel Tejkal said it was not a targeted attack.

He told sport.cz: "It is apparently a random criminal act. Petra is now in the care of doctors."

Fellow Czech player Lucie Safarova, speaking at an event which Kvitova had been due to attend, told Czech public radio: "Things like that are shocking to us all. It could happen to any one of us."

Aside from her two grand slam titles at Wimbledon, Kvitova has two WTA singles titles in 2016 and a career total of 19, with career prize money of more than US dollars 22.8million (around £18.4million).

She is currently ranked 11th in the world.

Monica Seles was in 1993 stabbed on court in Hamburg, resulting in a two-year absence from the sport.

Russian Anna Chakvetadze was assaulted with her family in their home in Moscow in 2007. She retired in 2013, aged 26.

Chakvetadze told the New York Times she was "very upset" when she heard of the attack on Kvitova.

"I got an arm nerve injury after they tied it up with TV cable, and it took one month to feel my arm again," Chakvetadze said.

"With a knife, it's even worse. I hope she will recover as soon as possible, mentally and physically, but it would not be easy."

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