After a knife attack threatened to end her career in 2016, Petra Kvitova is on the cusp of completing a fairytale comeback in Melbourne.
“If you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this.”
Petra Kvitova could not be more right as she prepares for her first grand slam final since 2014.
A knife-wielding intruder left the Czech with severely damaged tendons in her left hand, along with injuries to all five fingers and two nerves, following a gruesome attack at her home in December 2016.
Kvitova was trying to defend herself when the two-time Wimbledon champion’s world was turned upside down. She considered herself lucky to be alive.
Highlights – Petra Kvitova vs Danielle Collins
Almost four hours of surgery was required to repair her playing hand. While the operation was deemed a success, there were genuine concerns that Kvitova would never play again.
Amid the doubts, the physical pain and mental anguish, she was back on the court and playing within five months.
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) January 24, 2019
Five titles were added to Kvitova’s collection in 2018 but she struggled on the biggest stage, where she so often shines.
Kvitova suffered first-round exits at the Australian Open and her beloved Wimbledon, and did not advance past the third round of a slam that year.
However, Kvitova’s positivity and patience has paid off – a Sydney title proving the perfect tonic ahead of Saturday’s Australian Open final showdown with Naomi Osaka.
“It’s been a while. It’s been five years. That’s why I worked pretty hard to be back there. It just tastes very great,” said Kvitova after outclassing Danielle Collins in the semis at Melbourne Park, where she hasn’t dropped a set over the past fortnight.
“To be honest, I think not very many people believed that I could do that again, to stand on the court and play tennis and kind of play on this level. It was just really few of them, I think [that believed]. I’m very happy to have those few around me.”
— WTA (@WTA) January 25, 2019
The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup would complete the fairytale comeback.