She acquired Wimbledon, twice, and was tip-off for the top until an intruder with a pierce threatened to end Petra Kvitovs tennis busines. So why does she feel lucky?
When Petra Kvitova received her trophy after the final of the Australian Open this January, the crowd hooted and roared. Anybody who had not watched the coincide would assume she had prevailed. In happening, she had just been beaten by 21 -year-old Naomi Osaka. But this moment was perhaps the two-time Wimbledon champion’s greatest achievement.
Two times earlier, the 29 -year-old Czech had been attacked by an intruder with a knife in her suite in Prostejov. She campaigned him off, but accepted career-threatening hurts to her left end- her playing hand. This was her first grand slam final since the two attacks. Accepting the runner-up plate, she tearfully thanked her crew, saying:” You lodge with me where reference is didn’t know if I would even be able to hold a scheme again .”
We meet at the Spartatennis club in Prague, where she is training for next month’s Wimbledon. This is where the Czech Republic’s top tennis professionals come to practise. In the car park, there is a huge advertising hoarding showing off the players who have learned, or at least refined, their trade now: current women’s world amount three Karolina Pliskova, her twin Kristyna( I last-minute look the sisters affecting ferociously at each other ), onetime Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych and, of course, Kvitova.
She has made an astonishing recovery, returning to professional tennis only five months after the attack and triumphing eight singles names over the past two years- more than any other woman, rising to be graded nature number two( she is currently at number five ). Kvitova missed the recent French Open because of injury, but is determined to be fit for Wimbledon, for which she is currently second favourite behind Serena Williams.
Kvitova is tall and spectacular, with big, adventurous, Picasso-esque facets- sees blue as cornflowers, long directly nose, perfect grey teeth. She is known as one of the friendliest, most friendly musicians on the tennis circuit. Today she smiles readily as she tells me how stimulated she is to be back, and how much she is enjoying her play. Yet it does not take long to detect just how immense an effect the attack had, and still has, on her life.