5/27/2018 1:32:16 PM

Kvitova back in business a year after knife attack

Kvitova back in business a year after knife attack

Paris: Seventeen months after being attacked in her home by a knife-wielding intruder, Petra Kvitova has come to accept that she may always have that "weird feeling" whenever she is out alone and that her left playing hand will never fully recover.

But rather than dwelling on the episode, which her surgeon feared would end her career after she was left with damaged tendons and nerves in her fingers and thumb, the 28-year-old Czech has adopted a positive attitude and has already won four trophies in 2018.

That tally, which includes back-to-back claycourt titles in Prague and Madrid in the run-up to the French Open, is more than any other woman on the WTA Tour this season and has also lifted her to eighth in the world - her highest ranking since May 2016.

Given it was only a year ago that she made her comeback from the December 2016 attack, Kvitova is having to pinch herself to believe how well things have gone.

"It's crazy! It’s happening but I still find it unbelievable. It’s totally unexpected for me so far," said Kvitova. "I’m feeling great and I am enjoying playing every moment because I couldn’t imagine myself playing as well as I am now. That’s important for me."

That the twice Wimbledon champion wants to savour every moment on court is understandable. For several months she had no idea if she would ever again feel the adrenaline rush that comes with winning tournaments.

"I really didn’t know how the hand would react to playing tennis and even if I could hold the racket," said Kvitova.

"I was just working hard, being patient and being positive about it. I really didn’t know how everything would turn out.

"The hand will never be 100 percent again. The last part of the fingers, I can’t move them in ... I can’t do a fist pump but, the last 12 months have been great and I am not complaining at all."

Czech media reported on Thursday that a 54-year-old man had been detained in connection with the attack.

Kvitova's idol Martina Navratilova was full of praise for the way the Czech has overcome the difficulties of playing without having her hand back at 100 percent.

"I can't imagine being in Petra's position and playing without full feeling in my racket hand," Navratilova told the WTA. "It must be like gripping a racket while wearing a glove or trying to ski when you have frozen feet and can't feel the snow at all."

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