Tennis: Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova assaulted at home, playing hand badly injured

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was attacked in her home on Dec 20, 2016, and is receiving medical attention.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was attacked in her home on Dec 20, 2016, and is receiving medical attention. PHOTO: REUTERS

PRAGUE (REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) - Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova suffered severe injuries to her playing hand on Tuesday defending herself from a knife-wielding intruder in her apartment, an attack she said left her "fortunate to be alive".

The tennis world No. 11 said she would need to consult specialists about the injury, and gave no indication when she might be able to play again.

"In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand," she said on her Twitter account @Petra-Kvitova. "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 was attacked in her flat in the city of Prostejov, about 260km south-east of Prague, the site of a tennis club where she, men's world No. 10 Tomas Berdych and other top-ranked Czech tennis players train.

"What has happened to me was not pleasant at all, but it is already behind me," she said in the statement on Facebook. "The main thing for me now is that the doctors will determine how my hand is doing. I trust them and I believe that it will end well," she added.

Her spokesman Karel Tejkal told CTK news agency the attack had been "a random criminal act".

"She was assaulted in her apartment and is in the care of doctors, but her injuries are not life-threatening," he added.

The burglary adds a sombre ending to a rather lacklustre year for Kvitova, who slid from sixth in the world in January to 16th in August.

She sacked two coaches before winning the Wuhan Open in China in October after a 13-month title drought.

She added a victory at Zhuhai, China in November and was on the Czech Republic team that won the Fed Cup later that month, beating France for its fifth title in six years.

On Dec 1, Kvitova hired a new coach, Czech Jiri Vanek, who had led her Fed Cup team-mate Karolina Pliskova to this year's US Open final.

Bronze medallist from the Rio Olympics and Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, the 26-year-old tennis star is also recovering from a fatigue fracture on her foot which has ruled her out of the mixed-team Hopman Cup starting on Jan 1.

She was hoping to start next year at Sydney on Jan 8 to warm up for the Australian Open - the opening Grand Slam event - from Jan 16.