Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova admits she has exceeded her expectations by winning a tournament just six months after the stabbing that threatened to end her career.
Kvitova reached the latest milestone on her comeback by beating Australian Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win the Aegon Classic in Birmingham on Sunday.
It was only the Czech’s second event since returning to the women’s circuit, following surgery and rehabilitation for serious hand injuries suffered when confronting an intruder in December.
“It was a dream to play on the grass this year. I made it,” said Kvitova. “From the first hit on the grass I felt great. I didn’t have expectations of any goals or of winning tournaments.”
Kvitova had to battle back from a set down against Barty, who only returned to tennis last year following a stint playing professional cricket in the Big Bash.
“Congratulations to Petra,” Barty said. “You are an inspiration, a champion, we love you, we missed you and it is amazing to have you back on court.”
Kvitova won her first Wimbledon title in 2011 and added a second in 2014. They remain her only grand slam crowns.