Azarenka hails 'warrior' Kvitova


Petra Kvitova is a "warrior" for making a winning comeback at the French Open six months after being attacked in her own apartment, according to Victoria Azarenka.

Kvitova suffered career-threatening damage to the tendons and nerves in her left hand when she was stabbed by an intruder in December, but she has battled back and made her WTA Tour return on Sunday.

In her first match of the year the two-time Wimbledon champion beat Julia Boserup in straight sets, the Czech visibly emotional upon securing passage to round two.

She hailed the win as her second of the season, with the first being her actual return to the court in Paris.

For Azarenka - who will make her return at the Mallorca Open after giving birth to her first son in November - Kvitova's story is an inspirational one and she was delighted to see her back in action.

"I thought it was so amazing after a few months to not be traumatised [by] being in public and stuff," Azarenka told Eurosport. "She is such a warrior.

"Just seeing her here being in a good mood, healthy and playing is a win overall."

With the women's draw wide open due to Serena Williams' absence through pregnancy and world number one Angelique Kerber already out, some have suggested Azarenka could have been a contender at Roland Garros had she returned earlier.

And the 2013 semi-finalist believes she could have challenged for the title, but felt she needed longer to prepare herself for a return.

She added: "Do I think I had a chance [to have won at Roland Garros]? I think so, I think I could play just fine but I wanted to be mentally ready to go out there and grind and be in the routine. 

"For me right now I think already being in Wimbledon is before [I expected]. I felt ready but I didn't want to rush it."