Kvitova undergoes hand surgery following knife attack, full recovery expected

Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:35pm EST
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By Robert Muller and Jason Hovet

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Petra Kvitova underwent nearly four hours of surgery on her playing hand on Tuesday after she was stabbed by a knife-wielding intruder in her home in the Czech Republic.

Early indications showed the Czech world number 11 could well make a recovery and return to tennis, where she has been a mainstay in the top rankings for the past five years.

"The scale of the injury is serious, but Petra is young and strong, according to the surgeon, who sees no reason why she could not return to playing tennis," Karel Tejkal, spokesman for the Czech Fed Cup team, said.

Doctors operated on all five fingers of her left hand and she will not be able to exert pressure on the injured hand for three months to let repairs to tendons heal, he said.

Kvitova had said on social media before undergoing surgery that the attack by an individual with a knife on Tuesday had left her "shaken, but fortunate to be alive".

The assault took place in her flat in the city of Prostejov, about 260 km (160 miles) southeast of Prague, the location of a tennis club where she, men's world number 10 Tomas Berdych and other top-ranked Czech players often train.

Czech media reported the intruder presented himself to Kvitova as a boiler inspector.

"In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand," Kvitova said on Twitter. "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."   Continued...

Tennis - Fed Cup Final - France v Czech Republic - Strasbourg, France - 12/11/16  Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova plays a shot to France's Caroline Garcia. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler