Wednesday 22 May 2019

'I grabbed the knife, all my fingers were cut,' tennis star Kvitova tells court

Blood: tennis star Petra Kvitova. Photo: Reuters
Blood: tennis star Petra Kvitova. Photo: Reuters

Robert Muller

Two-times Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova told a Czech court how she grabbed the blade of an intruder's knife and forced it away from her neck during an attack at her home in December 2016.

Kvitova suffered severe wounds to her playing left hand as she struggled with the knife-wielding intruder.

She returned to professional tennis in May 2017, and made the final at the 2019 Australian Open.

Giving testimony in the trial of a man (33) charged with her assault, Kvitova said she had felt no pain when the 10-inch blade cut into her hand.

Kvitova sat in a separate room at the Brno court, giving her account via microphone and camera.

The man had rung her doorbell, posing as a workman come to inspect the hot water system in the flat, she said.

"He asked me to turn on the hot water tap and at that moment I had a knife against my neck. I grabbed it with both hands. I held the blade with my left hand. I snatched it away, I fell on the floor and there was blood everywhere," she said.

She told him she needed to go to hospital and asked if he wanted money.

"He asked how much I had. I said ten thousand crowns (€387) and he said 'OK'. I gave him the money, he left, and I called the ambulance and then the police," she added. "All the fingers on my left hand had been cut, and the nerves in my thumb and index finger severed. Even today, the mobility is not 100pc."

Kvitova said she had recognised her attacker in photos provided by the police.

"I knew it was him the moment I saw him," she said.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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