Great news for tennis. Petra Kvitova will be playing at the French Open six months after attack.
Kvitova has missed all season while recovering from surgery on her racket-holding left hand. She sustained damage to the tendons in her left hand, along with injuries to all five fingers and two nerves, during the attack.
Doctors initially thought she would need more time before returning to tennis. But Kvitova’s recovery was faster than expected and she said last month that she was signing up for the French Open, which begins Sunday, in hopes of being able to compete.
The two-time Wimbledon champion said Friday she will make her comeback at Roland Garros, although she still lacks power and strength.
This is what Petra said:
“I knew this day would come, I’m really happy that really here, the dream comes true. It wasn’t easy, but I’m happy that I work through this and I can play tennis and I can be in the draw […] I didn’t sleep well the days after, but I wasn’t really staying alone. From the beginning I was really feeling really weird when I went in the city or somewhere. I was always staring to the guys and looking if there are no strangers there. But with the time, it’s better.
I worked very hard behind the scenes. From the beginning I had this hand in a splint for two months, and even then I was practicing every day, always putting the splint away and trying to make this scar softer. So from the second day after surgery I started to work with that, which was kind of easy, just passive work with the fingers. I couldn’t move them.
I hit a few forehands with soft balls from the net, and it felt very, very weird. I didn’t really have touch in the hand for holding the racket. I’m happy that I didn’t have to change any techniques or something. Everything seems OK. Of course the hand doesn’t have that power and the strength yet, but I’m working on it. Hopefully one day will be everything perfect.
Not many people believe that I can play tennis again. So I’m happy that I can play,” Kvitova said. “I actually already won my biggest fight. I stayed in life and I have all my fingers.”