Watch:

Other Sports

Watch: "I didn't know if I'd hold a racket again" - Petra Kvitova all but completes miraculous return


Share this article


"I can't believe I've played the final of a Grand Slam again," a tearful Petra Kvitova announced after her Australian Open final defeat to Naomi Osaka.

Taking the second of the three-set match, it would be the 21-year-old Osaka who secured successive slams with a 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 win.

In her post-match remarks, however, the beaten Kvitova, appearing relatively unconcerned with her narrow defeat, reflected on the magnitude of what she had overcome to reach this point, again.

"To my team," Kvitova began, "thank you for everything, but mostly, thank you for sticking with me even when we didn't know if I would be able to hold the racket again."

Bringing about a rapturous applause from the Melbourne crowd, that only a little more than two years had passed since Kvitova was the victim of a knife-attack in her home was lost on nobody watching.

Petra Kvitova Kvitova after defeating Eugenie Bouchard to win the 2014 Wimbledon crown.

A two-time Wimbledon champion (2011, 2014), Kvitova had been sitting down to breakfast in December 2016 when an assailant conned his way into her Czech Republic home.

Proceeding to steal £155, Kvitova, who fought back against the knife-wielding man, suffered cuts to her playing hand, sustaining damage to the tendons of her left hand.

Undertaking an arduous road to recovery, Kvitova's journey to this point has scarcely been smooth. In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, she disclosed how her initial optimism for a full recovery was blighted by the realisation that certain aspects of her injuries would be cured by time alone.

"My doctor told me that many other experts thought that I would never ever play," Kvitova revealed.

"He didn’t want to tell me – and that was a good decision for my mental state of mind.

"The week after surgery I asked my doctor: ‘Do you think I could play in Wimbledon this year?’

"He didn’t answer for a while and then he said: ‘We are going to work on it and blah, blah, blah.’ I understood then that it wasn’t going to be easy."

Although she would make it as far as the quarter-final of the 2017 US Open, 2018 had seen Kvitova get no further than the 3rd round in any of the annual slams.

While defeat to Osaka will undoubtedly frustrate her competitive instincts (it was Kvitova's first Grand Slam final defeat), the 28-year-old Petra Kvitova may now look forward safe in the knowledge that she is one more playing among the game's very best.

You can watch a video of Kvitova's post-match comments below. 

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Share this article


Read more about

Australian Open Naomi Osaka Petra Kvitova

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

OTB

OTB

Up next

OTB AM

OTB AM

07:00 AM-10:00 AM

Share

OTB AM Repeat

OTB AM Repeat

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

LOI on OTB

LOI on OTB

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

OTB

OTB

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

07:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on