Petra Kvitova is heading to Wimbledon with a skip in her step following her victory at the Aegon Classic on Sunday.
While the Czech is no stranger to wins on the WTA Tour, this one was special. The win marked her 20th WTA title since turning professional in 2006, but the title goes beyond the numbers, as it was her first since an unfortunate incident threatened to end her life, let alone her career.
In December, a knife-wielding burglar broke into her home, attacking Kvitova, who suffered multiple lacerations on her left hand – her serving hand.
After months of recovery and rehabilitation, the two-time grand slam winner made a winning return at the French Open, only to lose out in the second round.
Now, with a 2017 title under her belt, Kvitova returns to Wimbledon, home of her two grand slam wins in 2011 and 2014.
This victory is for my team and fans to say thank you for being with me in the tough times. We didn't know if I would play again let alone win a trophy so this is an extra special moment. And it is for all of us to share. I also wanted to say how much I enjoyed sharing the court with Ash and appreciated her kind words in the ceremony. Birmingham will forever have a special place in my heart. Love to everyone from a very tired Petra ♥️? #teampetra #aegonclassic
"From the beginning, Wimbledon was the tournament that was in my mind, that was the one I wanted to play," recollected the 27-year-old on wtatennis.com.
"I didn't want to lose out on playing Wimbledon this year. For me, Wimbledon is in my heart. It's the biggest one. It's even better that I already played in Paris, as at Wimbledon I won't feel the same pressures that I would have done if that was my first Grand Slam back.
"I get emotional every time I step inside the All England Club. Wimbledon is just special – you can't compare it to other tournaments. And, for me, I also have all the memories from winning the title twice. Playing on the grass there is just very special. After everything that has happened, I think it will feel even more emotional going there this year."
The 131st edition of the Wimbledon Championships will take place at the All England Club from July 3-16.