PRAGUE (Reuters) – Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said on Friday she would do everything she could to return to tennis after suffering a hand injury in a knife attack that will keep her out of the sport for at least six months.
Kvitova was wounded on Tuesday when she fought off an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic, damaging all the fingers on her left playing hand.
The world number 11 addressed the media directly for the first time on Friday after an operation to repair the tendons in her hand and was determined to get back to playing.
“I have no choice but to look ahead, and not back, to see how everything will develop,” she told a news conference at which she could be seen smiling and laughing at moments.
“It does not really matter to me how long it will take (to play again), whether it is three months, six months, a year or however long. But certainly I want to return one day and I will do everything possible to do so.”
Kvitova said she had been able to move her fingers in a session with doctors on Thursday, which she called “the greatest Christmas present”.
News of the attack on Kvitova this week shocked the tennis world. The hard-hitting 26-year-old rose to world number two in 2011 when she won the first of her two Wimbledon singles titles.
She had been a virtual fixture in the top 10 before slipping somewhat this season. However, she showed improved form in recent months, winning the Wuhan Open title in October and the season-ending WTA Elite trophy in November.
Media have reported the intruder into her apartment had posed as a boiler inspector to get in. Police are still searching for her attacker. The attack has been described as a random act with Kvitova not specifically targeted.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Ken Ferris)