Wimbledon a motivation for Kvitova through the dark days

Getty Images

Petra Kvitova says returning to Wimbledon was the motivating factor during the dark days of her recovery following an attack in her home that left her career in jeopardy.

The Czech suffered serious injuries to her left hand last December when an intruder broke into her apartment and attacked her with a knife.

Kvitova made an awe-inspiring comeback to play the French Open and clinched an emotional Aegon Classic triumph last month in Birmingham.

The 27-year-old, a two-time champion at SW19, is now gearing up for a tilt at the Wimbledon title – a tournament she used as an inspiration to come back from the horrifying attack.

"Sitting on the couch at home, I didn't think about Wimbledon at first," said Kvitova, who plays Johanna Larsson in round one.

"But then when the time came, about the end of the March, I took the racquet for the first time to my hand, I was starting to think I would love to be back in Wimbledon.

"It would be very sad if I can't make this year. That's the big, big thing that I'm here. I already played in Paris, but Wimbledon was my dream to coming back, it was my motivation to play here."

Kvitova says the incident with the intruder has changed her approach to life.

"I think I am little bit different on the court and off the court. I think I see life and tennis from a little bit of a different angle than before," she added.

"I think that before I was very nervous before every match. Now I see that I shouldn't be. There's more important things in the life than just tennis."

The absence of big hitters Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova has left the women's draw wide open and Kvitova is among the favourites on her preferred surface.

"I'm still surprised how I played in my second event after my comeback," she said Kvitova.

"I think the grass always gives me extra confidence. I know I can play well on it. Through the Birmingham tournament, I felt like every round I played better and better, which is always good sign."