Petra Kvitova, Wimbledon champion, said that after a man assaulted her with a blade at her home, she is lucky and thankful to be alive. He stole approximately £155, wounding her to the point that she might not play again.
Police in the Czech Republic were chasing the attacker. He snuck in by convincing people he worked for an electric company there. The attacker was wielding a knife at the time.
The 26-year-old fought back, but has cuts to all five fingers on her left playing hand, damaging the tendons. The attacker, described as 5ft 11in and about 35-years-old, stole 5,000 koruna before leaving and is thought to be free still. Police advise the public to report anyone meeting this description.
The winner of the 2011 and 2014 singles title at Wimbledon was rushed to the hospital in Brno nearly 40 miles away. While there, she had an operation Tuesday evening. Her PR manager says that considering the damage, her surgery went great. Doctors repaired her tendons and nerves in all five fingers on her left hand. She will wear a cast for up to 8 weeks, but doctor’s believe she will be able to play tennis again.
The player posted on social media saying she was shaken up, but very fortunate to be alive. She then thanked her fans for their love and support.
The attack has jeopardized Kvitova’s chances of competing at the Australian Open, beginning January 16 in Melbourne.
2016 has been Kvitova’s most troublesome season, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time in three years. However, she did win the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Early in the year, a stomach problem influenced her form, and she went out of Wimbledon in the second round. She has recently announced that a former Czech men’s player, Jiri Vanek, will coach her for the 2017 season.
The incident brought back memories of previous attacks on elite tennis players. For example, after being stabbed in the back while court-side at a tournament in Hamburg, Monica Seles, the former number 1 in the world, suffered severe injuries keeping her out for 27 months. She came back in 1995 and won the Australian Open in 1996. It was her ninth and final grand slam title as she struggled to find her best form consistently.
In 2007, former number 5 in the world, Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze, was tied up in Moscow with her parents during a robbery while masked men stole £150,000 in cash and jewelry.