I'm just happy I have all my fingers - Kvitova reflects on rollercoaster 2017

Petra Kvitova believes 2017 went as well as she could have hoped after she was the victim of a knife attack last December.

The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered multiple lacerations to the tendons and nerves in her left hand when attempting to defend herself from an intruder in her apartment in Prostejov.

She underwent surgery to repair the damage but there were fears the Czech may never play tennis again.

However, Kvitova made an emotional return at the French Open, reaching the second round, before providing another showcase of her affinity for grass courts as she won the Aegon Classic, though she was knocked out in the second round at Wimbledon.

A run to the quarter-finals of the US Open followed and, ahead of the start of the 2018 season, the world number 29 expressed delight with what she has achieved since her comeback.

Reflecting on the attack, Kvitova told The Guardian: "If I wasn't playing tennis I don't think I could be as positive as I am now - but it's not pleasant to see those flashbacks.

"It is a time that I try to forget but I know I will never really forget what happened. This experience has shown me how hard I can work if I need to and just how much of a fighter I am on and off the court.

"I did hear the rumours that I would never ever play again but I thought: 'I will show them'.

"I was like: 'Why are they saying this?' It was very painful for me, it felt like they didn't believe me. Of course, at that time, I probably didn't know how bad it was because nobody told me - and I am happy for that now.

"My doctor [Radek Kebrle] told me that many other experts thought that I would never ever play. He didn't want to tell me - and that was a good decision for my mental state of mind.

"Playing on the grass at Wimbledon and getting a good result in the US Open was very important for me mentally, and for my confidence. This year has been a rollercoaster. The beginning wasn't very nice, so I'm really glad that it's over. Now I can look at everything positively again.

"It was a pretty tough year and I had a lot of emotions during my comeback. But it has been a year [since the attack] already and I can see that I can play tennis - and I can play it well, and for me this is the best outcome I could have hoped for.

"I have started to live with my new hand. I've started to try to like it, to love it and that's how I am going to take it. It's my hand and I am just happy that I have all of my fingers."

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