Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon winner and a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, suffered what she said was a “severe” injury to her left hand as she fought off a knife-wielding intruder early Tuesday morning in her Czech Republic home.
The intruder, described as a 35-year-old man posing as a gas company employee to gain entrance to her apartment, did not immediately recognize her. When he did, he and Kvitova struggled in the bathroom, with Kvitova suffering severe lacerations on all four fingers as he held a knife to her throat, the BBC reported. Kvitova underwhat what the BBC’s David Ornstein said was “potentially career-saving surgery” for injuries to her ligaments. Her public relations manager Katie Spellman gave an update Tuesday afternoon saying “considering the extent of the damage, the surgery went very well” and that the star would likely wear a cast six-to-eight weeks.
“In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand,” Kvitova, 26, tweeted, confirming the break-in at her home in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov. “I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this. Thank you all again for your love and support.”
Kvitova, a left-hander who also uses a two-handed backhand, was expected to have at least four hours of surgery at a hospital in Brno, which is about 40 miles away. Her assailant remains at large.
Spokesman Karel Tejkal earlier said that Kvitova was the victim of a “random” crime. “Nobody was going to attack or rob her as Petra Kvitova,” Tejkal said, according to the Daily Mail. “She was injured with a knife during the attempted burglary. Her life is not in danger, she is being treated by doctors.”
Hours before the incident, Kvtova had tweeted that she was withdrawing from the Hopman Cup mixed-team tournament next month in Perth, Australia, because a stress fracture in her foot has not completely healed.
Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 by beating Maria Sharapova, and in 2014, when she beat Eugenie Bouchard.
News of the attack, which brought back memories of the 1993 incident in which a fan stabbed Monica Seles and a 2007 incident in which Anna Chakvetadze and her family were assaulted in a home invasion in Moscow, shook the tennis world.