Kvitova: I already won my biggest fight


Just five months after she was stabbed during an attempted burglary at her home, Petra Kvitova made an impressive return to action as the Czech eased into the French Open second round Sunday.

"That's the beauty of our sport right now: Anybody can win and everybody's really good", said Shelby Rogers, an American who beat Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 7-6 (4), 6-4 on a steamy Sunday when the temperature touched 90 degrees (32 Celsius). Last year, she picked up the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award from her peers for the fourth consecutive year and her fifth time in the last six.

Kvitova has since made a faster than expected recovery from the injuries.

"I didn't sleep well the days after, but I wasn't really staying alone", Kvitova said.

PLUS: Watch the Racquet Bracket Show on Tennis Channel this Friday at 9 PM ET-then play the Racquet Bracket game for the men's and women's draws. "I didn't really have touch in the hand for holding the racket".

"Two weeks [after the attack] I was able to take off the splint and start to rehab actively", Kvitova said.

Irrespective of the expectancy surrounding her return, in realistic terms, Kvitova is treating her playing the French Open as nothing but a preliminary step to lead onto the other important tournaments in the year.

The year had already begun slowly for Kvitova after an illness-hit 2015 during which she was diagnosed with glandular fever.

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The opportunity looks tailor-made for a new name to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup with many pundits talking up the chances of Kristina Mladenovic, runner-up in the Stuttgart and Madrid tournaments and bidding to be the first French victor since Mary Pierce in 2000.

Kvitova credits a large support system of family and friends with getting her through the toughest times, and while the traumatic experience hasn't left her totally changed, she admits to being more sensitive to her surroundings.

"Today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife".

"I'm happy that when I'm playing I don't have pain in my hand".

Petra Kvitova was delighted to confirm her return to tennis at Roland Garros next week. I did miss definitely on the court, I did miss the fight.

Surgeons spent nearly four hours repairing tendons and nerves on her left hand - her playing hand. "It will be great to play there, '" Kvitova explained about her decision to play at Roland Garros. I was always staring to the guys and looking if there are no strangers there. "Just passive work with the fingers". It was not really a big deal. "I couldn't move them".

"I know that my hand, it's not perfectly ready". Hopefully one day everything will be ideal. "But we never know still".

But then that is not the point just yet.