Petra Kvitova kick-started her much anticipated comeback to tennis with a comfortable victory over Julia Boserup on the opening day at the 2017 French Open to advance to the second round.
In an open and unpredictable women’s draw at the Roland Garros, Kvitova quelled the skepticism regarding her form with the win over the World no 86 in the game which lasted for an hour and fourteen minutes. Returning to the court six months after suffering a career-threatening hand injury during an attempted burglary in her apartment in Czech Republic, Kvitova won the match 6-3 6-2 and kissed her left hand in a symbolic fashion while saluting the audience at the Philippe Chatrier court.
The former Wimbledon Champion raced to a 3-0 lead in the first game with a flurry of winners and an ace. It was a dominant display by the 15th seed against the American which was capped off by a seamless forehand winner to claim the opening set. She continued her onslaught with exquisite drop shots and bullet forehands in the second set, again jumping to a quick 2-0 advantage. The match was then halted due to a short downpour but it did not affect the Czech’s momentum in the slightest after the restart.
She broke the American’s serve twice in the second set to seal the victory with another forehand winner. An emotional and tearful Kvitova dropped her racket and raised her hands in celebration. Her support box were all wearing shirts which read ‘Courage Belief’.
“It does not really matter how I play. I won and I won before that. It was a nice and really heartwarming welcome in Chatrier. My team was there. My family was there. Everyone who helped me through the difficult. So it was a real pleasure to play in front of them and play how I played. I think I played well after six months off. I am happy with the game, of course, but I mean it was not really about the game today.” said the former French Open semi-finalist.
The 2012 and 2014 Wimbledon winner will now play another American, Bethanie Lynn Mattek-Sands in the Round of 64 at the French Open on Wednesday.