Petra Kvitová reaches Australian Open final two years after nearly losing her fingers

24-01-2019

Petra Kvitová has fought through to the final of the Australian Open after beating American Danielle Collins in two sets. She is now set to face Naomi Osaka, who beat Karolína Plíšková in three sets and prevented a Czech-only final.

Petra Kvitová, photo: ČTK/AP/Mark SchiefelbeinPetra Kvitová, photo: ČTK/AP/Mark Schiefelbein Two years ago Petra Kvitová nearly had the fingers on her racket-holding hand severed after suffering a knife attack by a man who invaded her home in the Moravian town of Prostějov.

Surgeons then worked for four hours to sow together seven severed tendons and two nerves.

Petra Kvitová, photo: ČTK/AP/Mark SchiefelbeinPetra Kvitová, photo: ČTK/AP/Mark Schiefelbein Kvitová, who won Wimbledon twice in 2011 and 2014 respectively, managed to recover quickly and continued her tennis career. But she was unable to reach the absolute top of her game, never getting past the quarter-finals of a grand slam.

Now, it looks like the Czech hard-hitter is back where she belongs, after she beat 25-year-old American Danielle Collins 7:6 6:0 to reach the Australian Open final.

The beginning of the match was marked by extremely hot weather and the organisers decided to close the roof of the Rod Laver Arena when the match was tied at 4:4.

After that, Kvitová took off, dominating the first set’s tie break and not allowing her opponent to win a single game in the second set.

After the Game, Kvitová told Australian Open TV that the closed roof did indeed suit her better.

Karolína Plíšková, photo: ČTK/AP/Kin CheungKarolína Plíšková, photo: ČTK/AP/Kin Cheung “The first set was very tough for me. I was pretty nervous. I could not get a full swing and be relaxed like in the matches before, so I was really glad that it came in the tie-break and in the second set. Actually, I think I was happier than the fans when the roof closed. I like to play indoors, so it really helped me, I think.”

Kvitová will face the 21-year-old US Open champion Naomi Osaka in the finals, after the Japanese world number four beat Karolína Plíšková in the semi-finals on the same day. Plíšková spoke to Czech Radio shortly after the game.

“The chances were there and I think it would also have been like that if I managed to get into the next game. There was not much in the way of me getting into the finals today. Unfortunately I had a tougher journey leading into this game, so I don’t think fortune was exactly on my side. But that is just how it is sometimes. I will wait for new opportunities and I believe they will come.”

Plíšková had to beat tennis legend Serena Williams in a close three-set battle to reach the semi-finals. She managed to break Naomi Osaka’s serve twice and won the second set, but eventually lost 2:6 6:4 4:6.

The final showdown between Kvitová and Osaka is set for Saturday, but Czech tennis will also have another contender playing for the title immediately after the game, as 23-year-old Barbora Krejčíková will be playing with her partner Rajeev Ram in the mixed doubles final.

24-01-2019