Tennis

First semi-final of Kvitova’s ‘second career’

A tearful Petra Kvitova said she felt her comeback from a terrifying knife attack was finally complete yesterday after powering into the Australian Open semi-finals.

The Czech eighth seed downed local hope Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-4 to extend a 10-match winning streak that has made her this year's form player on the WTA Tour.

The 28-year-old, who will meet unseeded American Danielle Collins in the final four, said she feared her career was over after she was attacked in her home in the Czech Republic in late 2016.

"Thank you guys, I didn't really imagine being back in this great stadium again to play with the best. It's great," said Kvitova, who required extensive surgery after the burglar slashed her racket hand, leaving her with permanent nerve damage.

Kvitova won two Wimbledon titles before the attack but the left-hander had not excelled at Grand Slams since returning from the injury.

She said her second, post-injury career was now on track after making the final four in Melbourne.

"I'm calling it as my second career. So it's the first semi-final of the second career," she said.

"It took me while, for sure, but I've never really played so well on the Grand Slams.

"So I'm happy this time. It's different. I'm really enjoying it."

She said her experience had put tennis into perspective, allowing her to enjoy playing more.

"I'm seeing life a little bit differently compared to before. I know it's just sport, it's just tennis," she said.

"(Though) you always want to do your best, of course."

Meanwhile, in yesterday's other quarter-final, Collins overcame a slow start to book a maiden Grand Slam semi-final spot when the unheralded American rallied from a set down to overcome Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 .- AFP

Tennis