French Open 2017: Kvitova 'wins biggest fight' with comeback

Petra Kvitova
Following the attack in December, surgeons spent almost four hours repairing tendons and nerves in Petra Kvitova's left hand
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May- 11 June
Coverage: Listen to live radio commentary and follow text coverage of selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online.

Petra Kvitova says she has already won her "biggest fight" by returning to action at the French Open following a knife attack at her home in December.

The Czech, 27, was stabbed by an intruder and suffered a career-threatening hand injury.

But the two-time Wimbledon champion was in Paris on Friday as her place in the first-round draw was confirmed.

"I knew this day would come. I'm really happy that I'm here, the dream comes true," said Kvitova.

"I'm here in the draw and I'm here playing tennis again. It was a difficult time for me, of course. It wasn't easy.

"I know that my hand is still not 100% ready, so we will see how everything goes, but I'm happy that I'm able to play again."

Kvitova, a former semi-finalist at Roland Garros, will play world number 86 Julia Boserup of the US at 10:00 BST on Sunday.

It will be her first competitive match since the Fed Cup in November and she enters the tournament with a WTA special ranking of 16 - her status at the time she last played.

Kvitova's surgeon, Radek Kerble, described the injury she suffered as "horrific", adding: "The chances of Petra's hand healing well enough for her to be able to play tennis again were very low for multiple reasons."

Petra Kvitova
"Keep everything crossed for me that I will be able to play there." Kvitova posted a picture on her Instagram before arriving at Roland Garros

However, she had a racquet in her hand again by March and, after initially targeting a return at Wimbledon, brought the date forward as her recovery went better than expected.

"It was a last-minute decision - I have to start somewhere," said Kvitova.

"Not many people believe that I can play tennis again.

"So I'm happy that I can play. I actually already won my biggest fight.

"I'm happy that I like challenges. That was one of the biggest, of course.

"So I stayed in life and I have all my fingers, I can play tennis and I can be here and be in the draw.

"Of course the hand doesn't have that power and the strength yet, but I'm working on it. Hopefully one day everything will be perfect. But we never know still."

Kvitova is unable to discuss the attack, which took place in her apartment in Prostejov on 20 December, because of the ongoing police investigation, but said time is helping her cope with the shock.

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

"I don't really have nightmares. From the beginning I was feeling really weird when I went into the city or somewhere.

"But with time, it's better. But of course I'm more actively watching the people around me."

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