Petra Kvitova has admitted that coming back to tennis has sometimes felt 'nearly impossible' after the knife attack in her home put her career in jeopardy.
The two-time Wimbledon champion endured a vicious home robbery in 2016 in which she suffered severe wounds to her left-hand, her playing hand, including severed nerves in her thumb and index finger.
The Czech, who has a career high of world number two, has revealed that although she was told she may never play again, she was determined to prove people wrong.
"Between the attack and my comeback, there were definitely a few moments when it felt nearly impossible," Kvitova said in an interview with Eurosport.
"I remember there was a time when people told me that I would never ever play tennis again. My immediate response was simply: ‘I want to play and I will just show that I can play again.
"That initial reaction was a big turning point for me because it made me realise how much I wanted tennis in my life"
Kvitova returned to tennis six months later at the 2017 French Open and since then has had moderate success reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open, the semi-finals of the French Open and reaching the final of the Australian Open in 2019.
But she has revealed the road back to tennis hasn't been smooth and everything initially felt very different.
"When I first returned to compete, my on-court mentality wasn’t quite the same – probably because when the attack happened I wasn’t thinking that seriously about tennis; the first priority was life itself and getting better.
"But when I started to play again and see that I could compete with the best out there, it didn’t take long to adjust and reach a similar mindset to the one I had before."
"With everything that has happened, both on and off the court, if I could send a message to my 21-year-old self it would be to just not take everything so seriously; to enjoy more of the tennis and what life has to offer and to not get stressed when things don’t seem to be going the right way."
"If the last 10 years are anything to go by, then a lot can truly happen."
"Looking ahead to the next decade, I don’t think I will still be playing tennis, but I would love to have some kids and a normal life for sure. We shall see!"
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