Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Painless hand is biggest victory, Czech tennis player Kvitová says

5 June 2017

Prague, June 2 (CTK) - Czech two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, 27, who played two matches at French Open after she underwent an operation on her playing left hand in December, said at a press conference today the fact that the hand did not hurt even when she fully used it is her biggest victory.

Kvitova, who beat Julia Boserup of the United States 6-3 and 6-2 in her first match after the injury on May 28 and lost 6-7, 6-7 to Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States on May 31, said her hand has not yet fully recovered.

An as yet unknown perpetrator attacked Kvitova in her flat in Prostejov, south Moravia, on December 20, 2016, and he damaged the tendons of all five fingers and two nerves of her left playing hand.

She underwent a four-hour operation during which surgeons stitched her tendons at a specialised clinic in Vysoke nad Jizerou, north Bohemia.

"The hand was not overloaded, it did not swell up markedly and it did not hurt after the two matches. This was the most important," Kvitova said.

However, the hand is not yet perfect, Kvitova said. She said she still has to try hard to clench the hand. The tips of fingers do not yet function as they should, she added.

"That is why I do not press the racket so as I would like to, there is not yet the needed strength," Kvitova said.

Physician Radek Kebrle, who operated on her, said he was surprised by Kvitova's return to the court after five months.

His team predicted that it will take six months before she plays again.

Kvitova said the five-month pause passed quickly. "I was doing physical exercises all the time, I tried to do something for being fit. To keep my head busy with something else, I started to study at a university in Prague [Social and media communication at Jan Amos Komensky University]. We were also twice on Lanzarote, in Monte Carlo," Kvitova said.

Before Wimbledon, Kvitova will play smaller tournaments.

"We will probably start in Birmingham where we are to leave in a fortnight. Paris was a starting point for us, we did not know what to expect from it. We are glad that Petra managed it. As from Monday, everyday work starts and we will focus on her tennis," coach Jiri Vanek said.

Kvitova, the world's No. 2 in 2011 and No. 11 in 2016, won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. She also won the FedCup team tournament five times.


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