A little over two years after she was allegedly stabbed by a knife-wielding man in her Czech Republic apartment, Kvitová testified against her attacker in court
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová is fearlessly speaking out about the stabbing incident that left her with a serious hand injury.
The two-time Wimbledon champ, 28, made an appearance in Czech Republic court on Tuesday, where she testified against her alleged attacker who entered her apartment wielding a knife and stabbed the 10-inch blade into her left playing hand.
Her testimony against the 33-year-old man came a little over two years after the terrifying incident first occurred, but Kvitová had no problems clearly recalling the graphic details of the experience, which took her several months to recover from and still affects her today.
The man, identified by the Associated Press as Radim Zondra, first allegedly rang Kvitová’s doorbell at 8:30 a.m.
To gain entry in the home, Kvitová said he pretended to be a workman inspecting her flat’s hot water system, according to The Guardian.
“He asked me to turn on the hot water tap and at that moment I had a knife against my neck,” the tennis star recalled, as reported by the outlet. “I grabbed it with both hands. I held the blade with my left hand. I snatched it away, I fell on the floor and there was blood everywhere.”
After attempting to reach for her cell phone to no avail, Kvitová said she desperately needed to go to the hospital to treat the injury and asked the man if he would take money and leave, The Guardian reported.
“He asked how much I had. I said ten thousand crowns ($440 USD) and he said ‘Okay.'” the athlete recalled in court. “I gave him the money, he left and I called the ambulance and then the police.”
Looking down at her severed hand after the attack, Kvitová said she felt no pain at the time of the stabbing but was taken aback at her bloody injury.
“When I saw the blood, I started blubbing,” she said, according to The Guardian. “All the fingers on my left hand had been cut, and the nerves in my thumb and index finger severed.”
Kvitová required four hours of surgery to repair her hand, reported The New York Times. Her surgeon, Radek Kebrele, originally said in a press release that her chances of playing again were “very low” for “multiple reasons,” according to CNN.
But Kvitová didn’t let that keep her down, and in May, announced she was returning to her sport for the French Open about a month earlier than expected.
“I knew this day would come but sometimes when I was watching tennis on TV, I didn’t really feel great,” she told reporters at the time. “I felt like the tennis was taken away from me, and it wasn’t my decision.”
“Suddenly, I couldn’t do what I love. So I’m happy that I can be here,” she added. “I’ve already won my biggest fight. I stayed in life and I have all my fingers.”
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Kvitová’s testimony on Tuesday was requested by Zondra’s lawyer, but she avoided her attacker in the Brno courtroom. Instead, the tennis player shared her side of the story through a live video feed from a separate room, AP said.
Despite not seeing him in person since he allegedly attacked her, Kvitová was confident in her ability to identify Zondra based on photos provided by the police.
“I knew it was him the moment I saw him [in the pictures],” she said, according to The Guardian. “I remembered his eyes mainly.”
Zondra pleaded not guilty on Tuesday but faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted, AP reported. At this time, it is not clear when the verdict will be issued as Zondra is currently serving a prison term for a separate crime, the outlet said.