The two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says she is “fortunate to be alive” after suffering “severe” hand injuries defending herself against a knife-wielding attacker at her home.
Police confirmed the person responsible remains at large.
Karel Tejkal, the player’s spokesman, said Kvitova suffered wounds to her left hand and has been treated by doctors.
The incident, which Tejkal described as a burglary, occurred on Tuesday morning in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov. He says Kvitova’s injuries were not life-threatening.
In a statement on her Facebook page, Kvitova said: “Today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife.
In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand.
I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this.”
Further details about Kvitova’s injury were expected to be released later on Tuesday.
Police spokesman Frantisek Korinek had told blesk.cz: “Today before half past eight in the morning, a 26-year-old woman was attacked near Prostejov.
The unidentified perpetrator broke into the apartment using a ruse.” He added that the attacker, a man estimated to be about 35 years old, escaped from the scene and that police have launched a manhunt.
Kvitova, who won the women’s singles titles at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, had already withdrawn from the Czech Republic team at next month’s Hopman Cup mixed-team tennis tournament because of a previous foot injury. “I am so disappointed that I cannot play at the @hopmancup,” she tweeted earlier on Tuesday.
“The results of an MRI have confirmed that my foot is healing, but not as quickly as we would have liked. The Hopman Cup is a fantastic event and I’m sorry I won’t be able to represent my country there.”
In April 1993, Monica Seles was at the height of her success when she was stabbed in the back during a changeover at a tournament in Hamburg.
A man reached over a courtside railing and knifed her, leaving an inch-deep slit between her shoulder blades. Seles returned to the game 27 months later and reached the 1995 US Open final.