Kvitova completes emotional winning comeback at French Open


In April, Kvitova announced that she would be on the list for the French Open, starting May 28. She underwent over three hours of surgery to fix tendons and nerves in her fingers and was told not to put weight on her left hand for three months.

The two-time Wimbledon champion said Friday she will make her comeback at Roland Garros, although she still lacks power and strength.

Extensive surgery for nerve and tendon damage in her favored left hand meant that resumption of her playing career was no guarantee, but she's back ahead of schedule.

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

Kvitova blew kisses to the crowd and warmly acknowledged her entourage, who wore shirts emblazoned with the words "Courage, " "Belief" and her signature, self-motivating "Pojd!" - with a heart replacing the letter "o".

Kerber, who ended Serena Williams' stay atop the WTA rankings past year, was gone from Roland Garros by lunchtime on Day 1, putting up little resistance while being beaten 6-2, 6-2 by 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation.

Both her hand and her buoyant psyche held up well in the Czech star's opening match against American Julia Boserup, who was making her French Open main-draw debut.

More news: Stability impossible without Iran: Rouhani
More news: The G7 summit ends without U.S. commitment on Paris agreement
More news: Wenger Coach in the dark as Arsenal verdict looms

"I'm glad with the way I played". I told her about [her] opponent briefly, but the most important message was just stay positive and focus on first point, first game. 'I surprised myself with the forehand victor straightaway, ' she said.

Then, addressing her guest box, which included her parents and brother, she said: "Thank you for everything you helped me through (in) this hard time".

When it was over, Kvitova dropped her racket near the baseline and removed her blue headband. But I'm happy that I didn't have to change any techniques or something.

'It doesn't really matter how I play, ' said the Czech after the match.

All eyes, however, will be on Kvitova when the Czech returns to competitive tennis after recovering from being stabbed during a burglary last December. "The chances of Petra's hand healing well enough for her to be able to play tennis again were very low for multiple reasons".

She showed the weight of the occasion only at the end, dropping her racket to the clay and turning to her support camp with hand over mouth in disbelief.

Williams, seeded 10, has played every year since 1997 with the exception of 2011 and despite her senior citizen status, she is still a contender at the Slams as her run to the Australian Open final in January proved. "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".