Tennis

Kvitova’s ‘greatest Christmas present’

Victim of knife attack delighted to be able to move fingers on her left hand after surgery

Petra Kvitova has described having feeling in her own fingers as the "greatest Christmas present I could have wished for" following the knife attack which put her tennis career in jeopardy.

Speaking publicly for the first time since having her hand slashed during a robbery in her home in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, Kvitova was laughing and smiling as she appeared before the world's press in Prague yesterday having left hospital.

"Yesterday morning, during a session with the doctor, I was able to move the fingers on my left hand," the two-time Wimbledon champion said.

NO TENNIS FOR SIX MONTHS

"This, to me, is the greatest Christmas present I could have wished for.

"While what happened to me was very scary, I do not see myself as a victim, I do not feel sorry for myself and I will not look backwards.

"I will use all my energy to focus on my recovery and will do everything I can to return to the sport I love as soon as possible."

The surgeon who operated on Kvitova's hand - her racket-holding one - says she will be unable to play tennis for at least six months and will not be able to bear weight for three.

However, with a large cast on her hand, Kvitova said: "I am happy to tell you that I am feeling well.

While what happened to me was very scary, I do not see myself as a victim, I do not feel sorry for myself and I will not look backwards.... Will do everything I can to return to the sport I love as soon as possible.Petra Kvitova

"The medical staff, police, my family and my team have all provided me with amazing support in this difficult situation.

"I want to thank each and every one of them for the important part they have played in the past four days.

"I have been overwhelmed by the flood of messages and love received from the tennis family, fans and public. Thank you."

Kvitova suffered tendon and nerve damage during the attack which saw her assailant pose as a utilities man in order to gain access to her apartment in Prostejov. Czech police have since issued an e-fit of the attacker, who remains at large.

Kvitova won Wimbledon in both 2011 and 2014 and is currently ranked 11th in the world. - PA SPORT

tennis