French Open: Petra Kvitova knocked out by Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Story highlights

Kvitova loses in straight sets

Czech returning early from injury

She was stabbed by an intruder in December

CNN  — 

Petra Kvitova says she still can’t feel two of her fingers five months after she was stabbed during an attempted burglary at her home.

But the two-time Wimbledon champion suffered disappointment in her comeback as she lost 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) in the second round of the French Open to American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Kvitova had said before the start of the tournament that she’d already won her “biggest fight” by returning to tennis, but revealed the daily struggle she’s going through to regain full use of her left hand.

Playing only her second competitive match since the December knife attack, the 27-year-old battled back from 3-1 down in the second set only to lose the tie-break by coughing up a double fault.

Kvitova had made a quicker than expected recovery from the career-threatening injury sustained to her playing hand to compete at Roland Garros.

The 15th seed had progressed from the first round with a straight-sets win over American Julia Boserup, saying it was a “pleasure” to be playing on the clay.

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“It’s nice to see you (the media) all, thank you for the heartwarming welcome here,” Kvitova said. “It was a great experience for me, a great comeback with my first win in the first round.

Kvitova had suffered what her surgeon, Dr Radek Kebrle, described as an “horrific” injury in the knife attack and said the chances of her playing tennis again were low.

The world No.16 was at home in the city of Prostejov, about 160 miles east of the Czech capital, Prague when an intruder burst into her apartment at around 8:30 a.m. on the morning of December 20.

She was able to fend the attacker off, who then fled, but the player needed emergency surgery to repair damage to tendons and nerves.

“I’ve already won my biggest fight,” Kvitova told reporters Friday. “I stayed in life and I have all my fingers.”

Mattek-Sands will play 23rd seed Sam Stosur in the third round after the Australian beat Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

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