In Brief

Petra Kvitova 'lucky to be alive' after knife attack

Two-time Wimbledon champion suffers 'severe' injury to playing hand after attack by burglar

Tennis player Petra Kvitova says she is "lucky to be alive" after a knife attack at her home in the Prostejov, in the Czech Republic.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was left with a "severe" injury to her left hand - her playing hand.

"As you may have already heard, today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife. In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand," she wrote on Facebook.

"I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this. Thank you all again for your love and support and now I would appreciate some privacy while I focus on my recovery."

Kvitova's publicist, Karel Tejkal, said she had been attacked during a "random" burglary and had not been deliberately targeted. The attacker is believed to have made off with around £155.

The world number 11 won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. However, she had been struggling with a foot injury and was considered a doubt for the Australian Open in Melbourne next month. She had already announced she would not be fit to play in the Hopman Cup on 1 January but now faces a much longer layoff.

"Kvitova had finished the 2016 season strongly, picking up titles in Wuhan and Zuhai, as well as winning the Women's Tennis Association's annual sportsmanship award, voted for by her fellow players, for the fourth year in succession," reports the BBC.

She will not "lack for goodwill" in her recovery, says the Daily Mail, adding: "The twice Wimbledon champion is one of the most well-liked and grounded of athletes, popular both inside and outside the locker room that is so much a part of her life as an itinerant tennis player.

"The incident, which sees her as a victim of an apparently random burglary, has a bitter irony in that she is never happier than when spending precious time in her native country when her schedule allows.

"There are a few uncomfortable echoes of the Monica Seles stabbing incident that shocked the tennis world in 1993, although the circumstances appear very different."

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