French Open: Petra Kvitova wins first match following knife attack

Petra Kvitova
Kvitova was thrilled to be back playing after a traumatic six months
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 cried after winning her first match since being stabbed during a burglary at her home in December.

The Czech, 27, looked impressive in beating American Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2 to reach round two of the French Open.

Kvitova suffered career-threatening injuries to her left hand in the attack, but recovered quicker than expected to play in Paris.

The two-time Wimbledon champion said: "It's a pleasure to be here and I'm happy I made the decision to play."

Petra Kvitova's support team
Kvitova supporters wore T-shirts saying 'Courage, Belief, Pojd ('Come on' in Czech)'.

Kvitova first picked up a racquet again in March, 12 weeks after the attack, and began practising properly at the beginning of May.

She had initially targeted Wimbledon for her comeback but, despite admitting she was "still not 100% ready", decided she was fit enough to play in France.

The 15th seed won the opening point of the match with a cross-court forehand and only needed 74 minutes to overcome world number 86 Boserup.

Her parents Jiri and Pavla and brothers Jiri and Libor were in the stands on Court Philippe Chatrier - the main court at Roland Garros.

"Thank you for everything, you helped me through this difficult time," said Kvitova.

"I'm glad with how I played. There are a few things to improve but what can I expect after such a long time.

"I was happy that I didn't have any pain. I promised my doctor, who gave me the green light, that if I feel pain in my hand during the match or in the practice, I'm stopping immediately."

A French Open semi-finalist in 2012, Kvitova will face American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the next round.

'Bravo Petra!' What Kvitova's rivals said

After the match, Boserup tweeted: "Congratulations to Petra Kvitova for so much more than winning a tennis match today."

Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat American Christina McHale: "I don't want to think of what she's gone through. I saw her this morning and I hugged her. I'm like, How are you doing? How are you? How was time off?"

Olympic champion Monica Puig after her win over Roberta Vinci: "It was such a traumatic experience. I'm really happy for her and I'm glad to see all of the players giving her a warm welcome back because she deserves it. She's such a great champion and a truly amazing person off the court that, you know, she deserves that and more."

American 12th seed Madison Keys on Twitter: "I'm crying the happiest of tears."

French player Alize Cornet on Twitter: "Tears in my eyes watching Petra Kvitova winning her first come back match at Roland Garros. So emotional and inspiring... Bravo Petra! #fighter."

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