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Kvitova undergoes hand surgery following knife attack

December 21, 2016 09:41 IST

Doctors operated on all five fingers of her left hand and she will not be able to exert pressure on the injured hand for three months to let repairs to tendons heal, Karel Tejkal, spokesman for the Czech Fed Cup team, said.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republi

Two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Petra Kvitova underwent nearly four hours of surgery on her playing hand on Tuesday after she was stabbed by a knife-wielding intruder in her home in the Czech Republic.

Early indications showed the Czech World No. 11 could well make a recovery and return to tennis, where she has been a mainstay in the top rankings for the past five years.

"The scale of the injury is serious, but Petra is young and strong, according to the surgeon, who sees no reason why she could not return to playing tennis," Karel Tejkal, spokesman for the Czech Fed Cup team, said.

Doctors operated on all five fingers of her left hand and she will not be able to exert pressure on the injured hand for three months to let repairs to tendons heal, he said.

Kvitova had said on social media before undergoing surgery that the attack by an individual with a knife on Tuesday had left her "shaken, but fortunate to be alive".

The assault took place in her flat in the city of Prostejov, about 260 km (160 miles) southeast of Prague, the location of a tennis club where she, men's world number 10 Tomas Berdych and other top-ranked Czech players often train.

The 26-year-old had been due later in the day to play a charity event in the Czech Republic's second biggest city Brno alongside compatriot Lucie Safarova. The pair have been fixtures in the Czech Fed Cup team that has won the premier women's team tennis event in five of the last six years.

"What happened to Petra, can happen to any of us. I got goosebumps from it," Safarova told news website Aktualne.cz.

Czech-born tennis great Martina Navratilova said on Twitter: "Just finding out about @Petra_Kvitova and the awful stabbing and injury to her hand -- pulling for you Petra."

World number three Agnieszka Radwanska also voiced support for Kvitova. "My thoughts are with @Petra_Kvitova. Terrible news," she Tweeted.

Tejkal had earlier told Czech media the morning attack had been "a random criminal act" and that Kvitova had not been specifically targeted.

IMAGE: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic

Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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