Petra Kvitova to return at French Open following stabbing

Two-time Wimbledon champion suffered serious hand injuries in house robbery

Petra Kvitova will make her comeback at the French Open. Photograph:  Adam Davy/PA Wire

Petra Kvitova will make her comeback at the French Open. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire

 

Petra Kvitova will make her comeback at the French Open, her representative has confirmed.

The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered serious hand injuries when she was stabbed by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic on December 20th.

It had been thought Kvitova would not be able to return until later in the summer at the earliest but her recovery has been quicker than expected.

Kvitova announced in April she would be on the entry list for Roland Garros but had been unsure even when she travelled to Paris on Wednesday whether she would play.

But practice has gone well enough for Kvitova to commit to taking to the court for her first-round match against Julia Boserup of the United States.

The 27-year-old is one of the most popular players on tour and her return is a huge boost for the tournament and women’s tennis.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Kvitova underwent an operation lasting three hours and 45 minutes.

Her surgeon, Doctor Radek Kebrle, said: “The injury was horrific. The chances of Petra’s hand healing well enough for her to be able to play tennis again were very low for multiple reasons.”

Kvitova will give her first public press conference later on Friday afternoon at Roland Garros.

Angelique Kerber heads an open women’s draw and will face Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in round one, while defending champion Garbine Muguruza was given a difficult path starting with former champion Francesca Schiavone.

Title favourite Simona Halep, who is battling an ankle injury, was drawn in the same quarter as Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who beat her in the final in Rome last weekend.

In the men’s draw, Andy Murray will open his campaign against Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov.

The world number one has been struggling recently but will hope the best-of-five-sets format allows him to rediscover the form that carried him to the final at Roland Garros 12 months ago.

Should Murray make it past 85th-ranked Kuznetsov in round one, he would face either Slovakia’s Martin Klizan or French wild card Laurent Lokoli.

A potential major danger lurks in round three in the shape of 29th seed Juan Martin Del Potro, should he recover from injury problems in time.

Murray was drawn in the same half as third seed Stan Wawrinka, who he beat in the semi-finals last year, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic potential last-four opponents in the bottom section.

Nadal was handed a crowd-pleasing first-round draw against unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire while Djokovic will meet Marcel Granollers of Spain.

Play begins at Roland Garros on Sunday.

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