“People Told Me I’d Never Play Tennis Again”: Petra Kvitova Recalls Horrific Life-Threatening Incident

Published 04/05/2021, 9:47 AM EDT
Mar 27, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic hits a backhand against Johanna Konta of Great Britain (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Veteran Czech tennis star Petra Kvitova has looked back on an episode in her life that could have cut her playing career short. In an interview with Eurosport, the two-time Grand Slam champion recalled her challenging road to recovery after a knife attack in 2016.

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The incident took place inside her Prostejov apartment when an intruder pounced on her with a knife, inflicting multiple wounds on her left arm.

Petra Kvitova says there was a moment in her road to recovery when she felt it was “nearly impossible”

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Kvitova underwent a painful, four-hour-long surgery that tested her endurance as much as it did her resolve to fight back and return to action. While she did make a comeback to the professional circuit, it wasn’t until her glory run in Qatar this year that she proved to the world that there’s more to her spirit than the attacker could break.

However, the 31-year-old revealed that it was, indeed, a long road to recovery and there were moments when she doubted if she could ever come back.

Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova celebrates winning her quarterfinal match against Germany’s Laura Siegemund REUTERS/Charles Platiau

“Between the attack and my comeback, there were definitely a few moments when it felt nearly impossible,” she revealed.

“Even bad things can lead to the good”: Petra Kvitova

Kvitova, who fell at the pre-quarters of the just-concluded Miami Open, said there was a time “when people told me that I’d never play tennis again”.

“My immediate response was simply, ‘I want to play and I will just show that I can play again’,” Kvitova said, adding that the reaction was the “big turning point” as it made her realize how much loved the game and how she longed to return.

However, she added that it did take her a while to get her focus back into tennis post her return from surgery as after the incident, “the first priority was life itself and getting better”.

With more matches under her belt, she realized that she could still compete with the “best out there” and it wasn’t too long after that she found her belief and rediscovered the game that took her to a career-high No.2 in singles on October 31, 2011.

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“Even bad things can lead to the good,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said, adding, “…even if there’s a negative, I will try and find a positive”.

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Czech Court Extends Punishment For The Man Who Stabbed Petra Kvitova

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No matter how far in the game she goes from here, there’s no denying that Kvitova would forever rule the hearts of her fans and followers as a true champion.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

863 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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