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Monday 23 September 2019

Ex-Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova 'lucky to be alive' after knife attack

Kvitova suffered a left hand injury and has been treated by doctors (AP)
Kvitova suffered a left hand injury and has been treated by doctors (AP)

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has said she is lucky to be alive after she was injured by a knife-wielding attacker at her home.

The tennis star said the injury to her left hand is "severe".

A manhunt has been launched for her attacker, described as a man in his mid-30s, after the incident at the sportswoman's house in the Czech Republic.

Kvitova wrote on Twitter: "In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand. I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive."

The 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, who is left-handed, added: "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."

It is not immediately clear how the injury could affect Kvitova's play. Details of her injury are expected to be released later.

"What happened to me was certainly not pleasant, but it's behind me," Kvitova said in an earlier statement on the Facebook page of the Czech Republic's Fed Cup team.

"I have the best possible care and I'm in touch with my loved ones. The worst is behind me."

Kvitova's spokesman, Karel Tejkal, said the incident, which he described as a burglary, occurred on Tuesday morning in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov.

Prostejov police spokesman Frantisek Korinek said the attacker, a man aged about 35, escaped from the scene and is at large.

Kvitova was scheduled to participate in a charity event in the city of Brno on Tuesday with another Czech player, Lucie Safarova.

"It's horrible," Safarova told Czech public radio. "Things like that are shocking to all of us. It can happen to anyone of us. That's really terrible."

In April 1993, Monica Seles was at the height of her success when she was stabbed in the back during a changeover at a tournament in Hamburg. A man reached over a courtside railing and knifed her, leaving an inch-deep slit between her shoulder blades.

Seles returned to the game 27 months later and reached the 1995 US Open final.

In an unrelated move earlier on Tuesday, Kvitova withdrew from the Czech Republic team at next month's Hopman Cup mixed-team tennis tournament because of an earlier foot injury.

PA Media

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