Petra Kvitova breaks down after refelecting on her return to the top level.
Petra Kvitova breaks down after refelecting on her return to the top level.

Tragic tale of Kvitova’s emotional ‘second career’

PETRA Kvitova has sympathised with Ash Barty after terminating the Australian's Melbourne Park campaign as the Czech focuses on her "second career."

Told she might never play top-level tennis again after having her racquet hand severely gashed by a knife-wielding intruder in a 2016 home invasion, Kvitova is overwhelmed to be back in the hunt for a major.

The dual Wimbledon champion and former world No 2 hadn't reached a major semi since winning Wimbledon in 2014.

The long drought, and memories of the horrific stabbing, carried her to tears after eliminating Barty to reach the last four here.

"Actually, it was kind of a mix of emotions of everything I've been through," she said.

"You know, sometimes I'm not really recognising anything from the past. "But when Jim (Courier) asked that, it wasn't really easy for me to kind of see myself being in a semi-final after everything.

"I always wanted to come back and play on the highest level I can, compete with the best, play the grand slams, actually be very deep in the grand slam, which is happening.

"Yeah, it just took me a bit to the tears, but it was happy tears, for sure."

Petra Kvitova sheds a tear as she is interviewed by Jim Courier following her quarter-final victory. Picture: AP
Petra Kvitova sheds a tear as she is interviewed by Jim Courier following her quarter-final victory. Picture: AP

Unsure if she could return, Kvitova is now back.

"I'm calling it as my second career," she said.

"So it's the first semi-final of the second career.

"But, yeah, it's took me while, for sure. I never really played so well on the grand slams, so I'm happy this time it's different. I'm really enjoying it."

Kvitova was injured in a home invasion in December 2016 where she was stabbed in her left hand. Picture: AP
Kvitova was injured in a home invasion in December 2016 where she was stabbed in her left hand. Picture: AP

Kvitova heaped praise on Barty.

"Ash is great in a way. She's a great person and great player, as she showed," the Czech said.

"I think it's not really easy to play quarter-final of the slams at home. I know the pressure when I'm playing home, as well. It's not easy.

"She really played unbelievable tennis today, as well.

"I mean, her slice was two centimetre under the net. It was really incredible what she been through whole tournament.

"Yeah, I'm a bit sorry for her that I beat her. But that's the tennis, unfortunately."

News Corp Australia


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