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Sports

June 20, 2017

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Kvitova relishing Wimbledon return

Kvitova relishing Wimbledon return

BIRMINGHAM: Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says returning to the scene of her “fairytale” first grand slam win will be a particularly emotional occasion this year.

Kvitova only recently returned to competition after a knife attack at her home in the Czech Republic in December left her with an injured left hand.

Rehab has only been part of the work that the 27-year-old has had to undergo.

Psychologically, the violent attempted robbery clearly left a scar.

She returned to action at the French Open this month, losing in the second round, and she is playing on the grass at the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston this week as she builds up to her favourite event.

“When I was on the way back, I thought I would really like to play Wimbledon and I feel that I can say, in some way, I am ready for Wimbledon. I played Roland Garros as a preparation,” she told Reuters.

Kvitova, who plays fellow Czech Tereza Smitkova here on Tuesday (today), said she had been overwhelmed by the welcome she got from fellow players and others in the game.

“It was amazing. I was really looking forward to seeing other players and coaches (but) I didn’t expect that huge welcome from all of them. It was so nice to see them all smiling and wishing me good luck and welcoming me back,” she said.

She can expect much more of that when she turns up at the All England Club where she enjoyed a surprise win over Maria Sharapova in the 2011 final and then triumphed again three years later, beating Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

“I love the people there. I love England. At Wimbledon, it feels so quiet, so comfy, for me as a home.

“I am always renting a house and for me it is more than a tournament, I feel like we are a family there. It is just more relaxed for me, it is amazing,” she said.

Kvitova was an eighth-ranked 21-year-old when she first won Wimbledon and she admits she did not really know how to handle the moment.

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