Monday 25 September 2017

Petra Kvitova makes first appearance since knife attack in her home and gives update on hand injury

Petra Kvitova spoke publicly today. Inset, a photofit of her attacker
Petra Kvitova spoke publicly today. Inset, a photofit of her attacker

Eleanor Crooks

Petra Kvitova described being able to move the fingers on her left hand again as "the greatest Christmas present I could have wished for".

The 26-year-old was speaking publicly for the first time since being attacked by an intruder at her apartment in the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Kvitova suffered potentially career-threatening injuries to her dominant hand, which was covered in a substantial bandage as she addressed the media in Prague following her release from hospital.

The two-time Wimbledon champion looked remarkably relaxed, smiling and laughing as she first read out a statement in Czech.

Switching to English, she said: "I'm happy to tell you I'm feeling well.

"The medical staff, the 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 I have received from the tennis family, fans and the public - thank you."

Kvitova revealed the encouraging sign that movement had returned to her fingers came at a session with her doctor on Thursday morning.

The world number 11 needed surgery lasting nearly four hours after tendons in all four of her fingers and her thumb were damaged as well as two nerves.

The intruder gained access to her apartment in Prostejov by posing as a utilities man before pulling out a knife and putting it to Kvitova's throat. The injuries occurred as she pulled the knife away.

The popular Czech has been told she will not be able to hold a racket for three months, with a return to the court estimated in six months.

Kvitova sent a defiant message, saying: "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 I will do everything I can to return to the sport I love as soon as possible.

"I am now looking forward to spending time with my family and I ask for privacy and peace as I start my journey towards a return to the tennis court."

An identikit photo of Kvitova's attacker was released by the police on Thursday. The man remains at large.

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