Tennis star Petra Kvitova ‘lucky to be alive’ after knife attack at her home

Two-time Wimbledon champion says wounds to her left hand are severe

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2016, 10:49pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2016, 10:49pm

Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Petra Kvitova was injured by a knife-wielding attacker at her home on Tuesday.

The 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion said the injury to her left hand was “severe”.

“In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand. I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive,” Kvitova, who is left-handed, wrote 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.”

It was not immediately clear how the injury could affect Kvitova’s play.

“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 who is about 35 years old, escaped from the scene and was at large. He said police have launched a manhunt.

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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 January’s Hopman Cup mixed-team tennis tournament because of an earlier foot injury.