Garbine Muguruza has described Petra Kvitova’s stunning return to the top-10 just over a year after she was attacked and had surgery on her injured hand as “incredible” the Spanish Wimbledon champion told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday.
Kvitova, who was stabbed in her left playing hand in December 2016 and sustained damage in all five fingers, is currently on a 13-match winning streak that included back-to-back title runs in St. Petersburg and Doha and six victories against top-10 opponents.
The Czech’s latest victim was Muguruza, in the Doha final last Sunday.
“I heard the news. I saw the picture of the hand. I never talked to her [Kvitova] about it. Obviously I’m like not even close to, you know, personal [with her]. But I think it’s incredible,” said Muguruza, who opens her Dubai campaign against Catherine “CiCi Bellis” in round two in Dubai on Wednesday.
“I heard she doesn’t really feel certain parts of the hand. I’m like, I don’t even understand how can you play that good.
“I remember in the trophy ceremony, they gave her it, and the man asked her, ‘You’re winning 13 matches in a row’.
“She is like, ‘Yeah, it’s magic. I was one year ago in a difficult situation’.
“Then I realised, ‘Yeah, it’s true’.
“Maybe she sees now so different. Maybe she’s playing good also because she realize like, Hey, who cares. I play good, I’m happy. Sometimes you need this to suddenly kind of… So I’m very surprised.”
Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, returned to action last year at Roland Garros, just six months after being attacked. She won Birmingham in her second tournament back and took her game to the next level this month with her two titles.
British No. 1, Johanna Konta, applauded Kvitova’s strength, saying on Monday after her opening round win in Dubai: “I think it’s very deserved. I think putting aside the challenges that she’s had off court, just her on court mannerisms, her on-court persona, she’s a very, very classy champion.
“I think she plays that way. She plays with a lot of self-confidence. That comes through in these big wins that she earns.
“Off the court, I mean, she’s just as much of a strong person.”
Agnieszka Radwanska, who lost a tight three-setter to Kvitova last week in Doha, praised the 27-year-old’s sustained high level throughout the tournament.
“I think she played amazing. Of course, well done that she was keep playing at the same level till the end. You know, winning against Caro and Garbine, it’s pretty huge thing. All those tight matches, long matches… Well done. She deserve it, for sure,” said Radwanska after her loss to Daria Kasatkina on Monday in Dubai.
Kvitova pulled out of Dubai with a leg injury and is expected to next compete at Indian Wells.
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