Tennis: Returning Kvitova wins Roland Garros opener

Petra Kvitova celebrating after winning her qualification round match against Julia Boserup on May 28, 2017.
Petra Kvitova celebrating after winning her qualification round match against Julia Boserup on May 28, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Petra Kvitova cruised into the French Open second round on Sunday as the Czech star returned from a lengthy lay-off after a harrowing knife attack at her home in December.

The two-time Wimbledon champion swept aside American Julia Boserup 6-3, 6-2 in her first match since suffering career-threatening injuries to her left playing hand when she tackled an intruder at her home in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov.

Kvitova was left fighting to save her career after the attack, admitting her hand was "still not 100 per cent" while speaking to reporters at Roland Garros on Friday.

However, the 15th seed won the opening point of the match with a sweeping cross-court forehand and needed just 74 minutes to overcome world number 86 Boserup.

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"It's a pleasure to be here, I'm really glad to have made the decision that I'm going to play here," Kvitova said afterwards.

"Thank you for everything, you helped me through this difficult time.

"I'm glad with how I played today. There are a few things to improve but what can I expect after such a long time." Kvitova, a French Open semi-finalist in 2012, will face Bethanie Mattek-Sands or Evgeniya Rodina in the next round.