French Open to start with Petra Kvitova's return to court

Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova

The two-time Wimbledon champion struggled to hold back the tears as she swept aside American Julia Boserup 6-3 6-2 in her first match since suffering career-threatening injuries to her left playing hand when she tackled an intruder at her home in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov.

Kvitova had her parents and two brothers in attendance at Roland Garros for this significant moment in her recovery from a horrific attack last December.

· Get Tennis Channel Plus for Roland Garros to watch 200 live matches from up to five courts, starting with the Qualifying Rounds. "It's miracle. Not even me or Petra thought she could be ready to come back so soon", said her coach, Jiri Novak.

"I feel great about the win". "It was nice and really heartwarming welcome in the Chatrier". My team was there.

"Thank you guys I love you so much", she told the crowd, who applauded generously.

Kvitova said: "I think it doesn't really matter how I played but I won". "But right now, I think that I have to find myself again". "But I didn't. I was just happy to be back, to see the crowd, to see my full box and the people who really support me all the time, thorugh a hard time. I'm glad it's still there, still in the mind, still in the hand".

Being back on court was the main thing but the competitive juices soon kicked back in.

Four successive breaks of serve followed before Makarova saved seven break points in the crucial eighth game to cause the upset.

Kvitova began things with a quick forehand victor; she compiled the first 10 winners of the match and finished with a 31-9 edge in that category. Kvitova has missed all season so far while recovering from surgery on her left, racket-holding hand in December.

"I'm happy with the game, of course", Kvitova said, "but I mean, it wasn't really about the game today".

"In the end, I didn't have to any more".

Kvitova first picked up a racquet again in March, 12 weeks after the attack, and began practising properly at the beginning of May.

Aside from the victory, Kvitova was also touched by fans' warm welcome to her comeback.

The 15th seed thanked her family for helping her through the hard period.

The German becomes the first top seeded woman to lose in the opening round of the tournament since the sport turned professional in 1968. Timea Bacsinszky, the Swiss 30th seed who made the semi-finals two years ago, was also an early victor, seeing off Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 6-2.

Kerber won the Australian Open and U.S. Open, and was the Wimbledon runner-up, in 2016, surging to the heights of tennis. She went into the Grand Slam tournament as 15th seed, telling reporters "I actually already won my biggest fight".

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