Create

Petra Kvitova attacked: Tennis players who were victims of criminal violence

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 07:  Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic returns a shot against Madison Keys of the United States during her Women's Singles Quarter Finals match on day seven of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on October 7, 2016 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)
Petra Kvitova was attacked in her house and sustained severe injuries on four fingers of her left hand
Neelabhra Roy

There is no sport in the world which is complete without any controversy or mishap. Over the years, many unfortunate incidents have occurred in different sports, be it a spectator attack or a violent act from an athlete. A couple of days back, two-time Wimbledon champion and former World No.2 Petra Kvitova was attacked by a man with a knife in her apartment in Prostejov and sustained severe injuries on her left hand which is her playing hand.The Czech underwent surgery successfully but will have to sit out for six months in order to fully recover from the injuries. Kvitova may have survived the attack but this would have an adverse effect on her career, physically, and mentally. However, this isn’t the first time that tennis players have been subjected to violence as such incidents have occurred quite a few times. So let’s take a look at five tennis players who have been subjected to attacks/violence.1) Monica Seles

Seles was stabbed in the shoulder by an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf in 1993

During the late 1980s, 22-time Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf of Germany was dominating Women’s tennis on a whole and barring the likes of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, there was hardly any player who could be a match for her. However, in 1989, a teenager from Yugoslavia came into the professional and a year later, she became the youngest French Open champion ever at 16 years and 6 months.Seles dominated Women’s tennis for the next couple of years, winning three Grand Slams in 1991 and 1992 and dethroning Steffi Graf as the World No.1. By the time she was 19, Seles had already won eight Grand Slams. Many were entertaining the possibility of Seles breaking Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam Singles titles. However, Seles had no idea what would be in store for her in 1993.On 30 April, 1993, roughly three months after she won her third Australian Open title, Seles was on the verge of defeating Magdaleena Maleeva in the quarter-finals of the Citizen Cup when Gunter Parche, an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf, stabbed her between her shoulder blades. The depth of the cut was roughly 1.5 cm and Seles was immediately rushed to a hospital. Seles’ injuries healed within weeks but she did not return to tennis until 1995.Upon returning, Seles was a shadow of her former self. While she did win an Australian Open in 1996, she lacked somehow the fire she possessed before the tragic incident in Hamburg. She played her last match in 2003 before officially retiring from the sport in 2008.

Petra Kvitova

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 07:  Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic returns a shot against Madison Keys of the United States during her Women's Singles Quarter Finals match on day seven of the 2016 China Open at the China National Tennis Centre on October 7, 2016 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images)
The two-time Wimbledon champion will be sidelined for six months due to her hand injuries sustained during the burglary at her apartment

Read more: Petra Kvitova attacked in her apartment

The Czech first came into prominence after beating then World No.1 Dinara Safina in the third round of the 2009 US Open which was followed by a semi-final appearance at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. She soon entered the Top 10 of the WTA Rankings before winning her first Grand Slam title at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships by beating Maria Sharapova in the final which helped her to a career-best ranking of World No.2.She won a second Wimbledon title in 2014 with a win over Eugenie Bouchard in the final. After a series of mixed results in 2015, Kvitova had a miserable start to 2016 but during the last few months of the Tour, she had some good results that included winning the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics followed by victories at the Wuhan Open and the WTA Elite Trophy at Zhuhai. She ended the year ranked 11th.Just as things were going her way, disaster struck Kvitova as she was attacked in her apartment in Prostejov by a burglar posing as a utility man who wasn’t aware of her identity at first. Once he knew who she was, a struggle in the bathroom ensued which led to a knife against Kvitova’s throat. She was able to escape but sustained deep lacerations on four fingers of her left hand which cut and tore ligaments.Following the incident, Kvitova stated that she was “fortunate to be alive” and that the injury was severe but was optimistic of making a return to tennis. After undergoing surgery successfully, Kvitova’s PR manager has stated that she will be sidelined for six months in order to fully recover from the injury. Even though Kvitova is optimistic that she will return strongly, the severity of the injury is bound to affect her, physically and mentally.

Anna Chakvetadze

Chakvetadze was robbed in her own apartment during the end of 2007

During 2006, a 19-year old Russian was gradually rising up the ranks in the WTA rankings and had created a couple of upsets by defeating top-ranked players Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova.

This young player was Anna Chakvetadze. In 2007, Chakvetadze had a very consistent Tour where she reached the quarter-finals of the Australian and French Open and the semi-finals of the US Open which resulted her in attaining a career-high ranking of World No.5. In addition to this, she reached the semi-finals of the Miami Masters and the semi-finals at the WTA Tour Championships.Just as Chakvetadze was at her peak, disaster struck for her as her house was robbed on 18th December, 2007 by six invaders. Chakvetadze was tied and her father got beaten up by the invaders at the family home in Moscow.

The six men left with over 306,000 USD worth of cash and goods including a Rolex watch that Chakvetadze won in an exhibition match, which made implicit that Chakvetadze had been the target of the robbery. While leaving, the robbers said, "Keep playing. We'll come again." Though the invaders were arrested three months following the robbery, the robbery had affected Chakvetadze mentally as her form suffered a dip in the following years and she eventually retired from the sport in 2013, aged only 26.

Edited by Staff Editor

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...