Petra Kvitova is optimistic she can get back to her previous level following a “rollercoaster” 2017.
The two-time Wimbledon champion is still recovering a year after a knife attack in her home left her needing surgery on a potentially career-threatening hand injury, but said she thinks she will soon be back to her best.
Kvitova, who reached the second round of the French Open on her comeback last May, said she is looking forward to a strong campaign in 2018.
“It will probably take more than a year to get full movement back, I’m not sure,” she told The Guardian.
“For tennis and for life, it’s good. I’ve done everything that I could but there is still some space to improve it. I hope that with more time I will be even stronger. I am happy that [throughout the recovery] I was always looking forward to the better tomorrows.
“This year has been a rollercoaster. The beginning wasn’t very nice, so I’m really glad that it’s over. Now I can look at everything positively again.”
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) November 24, 2017
The 27-year-old Czech star, who will open the season at the Brisbane International, revealed the motivation behind her recovery was to prove those who doubted her return wrong.
“I did hear the rumours that I would never ever play again but I thought: ‘I will show them.’
“I was like: ‘Why are they saying this?’ It was very painful for me, it felt like they didn’t believe me. Of course, at that time, I probably didn’t know how bad it was because nobody told me – and I am happy for that now.
“My doctor [Radek Kebrle] told me that many other experts thought that I would never ever play. He didn’t want to tell me – and that was a good decision for my mental state of mind.”
“It was a pretty tough year and I had a lot of emotions during my comeback,” she added.
“But it has been a year [since the attack] already and I can see that I can play tennis – and I can play it well, and for me this is the best outcome I could have hoped for.
“I have started to live with my new hand. I’ve started to try to like it, to love it and that’s how I am going to take it. It’s my hand and I am just happy that I have all of my fingers.”