Former Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova has had a torrid time when she was attacked by a knife at her home in the Czech Republic in 2016. But since her return, she has won more WTA titles than any other player on tour and came within a match of a third Grand Slam at the Australian Open.
“I call this my second career,” she said ahead of her second-round match against Kristina Mladenovic on Thursday. “When I was in recovery the huge motivation for me was being able to hold a racket again. It kept me going on tough days.
So, I can say that tennis saved me in a way. I play with more joy now and appreciate that I get to do the thing I love again every day”. Though Kvitova’s route to Week 2 at Wimbledon seems to be a tricky one, this Grand Slam brings the best out of her.
“The first time I won it in 2011 I don't think I even realised what was happening,” she said. “It was a bit like a dream. I wasn't prepared. The second time around in 2014, I knew how much it takes to win a Grand Slam and how difficult it is, so I got more satisfaction from that win because I proved to myself that I could do it again”.
“Having won here twice before, it’s always the place on the calendar that I look forward to most because it brings back all those memories. But last year was a really tough one and I put too much pressure on myself [she lost in the first round].
I also wanted it too much”. She ended the interview on a positive note, saying, “I want to stay healthy, which is not easy, I want to play with freedom and of course I love to win the big titles, that's what keeps me playing.
But if I lose a match, I know there are worse things that can happen and I am more relaxed now because I know there are more important things in life than tennis”.