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Kvitova to return home after knife attack

By Eleanor Crooks

Petra Kvitova will spend Christmas at home as she is due to leave hospital today following surgery on a hand injury sustained in a knife attack.

The 26-year-old, a two-time Wimbledon champion, suffered serious injuries to her racket-holding left hand in an assault by an intruder at her apartment in the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Kvitova faces a lengthy rehabilitation process but she received positive news from her surgeon, who told her she had a chance of resuming playing in six months after the operation went without complications.

And in a further boost her spokesperson confirmed she will be discharged from hospital today to spend the festive period recuperating with her family.

Before doing so, the world number 11 will hold a press conference in Prague.

Kvitova said she was "shaken but fortunate to be alive" after the attack and underwent surgery lasting nearly four hours.

The intruder posed as a utilities man seeking to read a meter to gain access to the apartment in Prostejov, before a struggle ensued.

It is understood the knife was put to Kvitova's throat and her left hand was injured as she pulled the weapon away.

Czech police are still searching for the attacker.

Kvitova's surgeon, Radek Kebrle, told a press conference in the Czech Republic on Wednesday that the operation had gone well with no complications.

Kvitova will begin slow rehabilitation in around six to eight weeks and, if that goes well, should be able to grip a racket in three months' time.

Given the length of the process and the uncertainties surrounding recovery from such an injury, it seems highly likely she will not be ready to return in time for her favourite tournament, Wimbledon.

The US Open at the end of August would be a more realistic goal, although Kvitova's main aim will simply be to get back on the tennis court, however long it takes.

Kvitova's spokeswoman Katie Spellman said: "The best-case scenario is that Petra will be able to return to the tennis court after six months.

"Petra is ready to do everything she can to get back competing at the highest level.

"Petra is happy with how the operation went and is in good spirits."

Support continued to flood in from the tennis world for one of its most popular players.

Rafael Nadal wrote on Twitter: "Terrible news. Wishing a speedy recovery for @Petra_Kvitova. Keep smiling as always!"

Women's world number one Angelique Kerber said: "You're a fighter @Petra_Kvitova with a big heart. You will come back even stronger! I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery."

Belfast Telegraph


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