Kvitova Wimbledon triumph would rank among greatest grand slam feats
Petra Kvitova's career was in serious doubt after she was subjected to a serious knife attack, but just a year and a half later she is the favourite to accomplish what would be one of the most incredible Wimbledon triumphs.
"I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive," the steely Czech said after being slashed by an intruder in her Prostejov apartment in December 2016.
Kvitova sustained severe damage to the tendons in her playing hand, as well as injuries to all five fingers and two nerves.
The amiable 28-year-old was informed that there was a strong chance she would have to quit following a four-hour operation, having asked the surgeon if she would recover to play at Wimbledon.
There were also mental scars left from such a harrowing ordeal, yet Kvitova declared "I am strong and I will fight this" as she came to terms with the fact that a hand that twice gripped the Wimbledon trophy may never hold a tennis racket again.
Yet Kvitova grew increasingly positive, stating "I'm happy that I have all my fingers” and she stunned specialists by making her comeback at the French Open just five months after a blade had been held to her throat.
After the nightmare of being attacked in her own home, Kvitova experienced what she described as "a dream or fairytale" when she was crowned champion in Birmingham in her second tournament back on the circuit.
She bowed out in the second round at Wimbledon, but was merely happy to be at her favourite event.
Kvitova still lacks full strength and feeling in her left hand, but the former world number two retained her Birmingham Classic title last Sunday to take her tally of victories this year to an incredible five before withdrawing in Eastbourne as a precaution due to a hamstring niggle.
"It was big rehab of the hand to come back, just to play. And since then, of course, many things happened." Kvitova said at Wimbledon on Saturday.
"I couldn't really imagine myself having six titles since I came back. It was just something which I couldn't imagine, especially this year, since the beginning of the season."
She added: "I do have some limitation. I'm just trying not to think negatively about it, but still saying I'm happy I do have my fingers."
Serena Williams' Wimbledon comeback will generate much of the coverage at SW19, but it would be one of the most popular and astonishing grand slam stories if Kvitova is reunited with the Venus Rosewater Dish.