Petra Kvitova has reached the first grand slam final of what she is calling her “second career” after defeating Danielle Collins at the Australian Open.
In what was an eventful match, with play suspended and the Rod Laver Arena closed during the first set because of extreme heat, Kvitova triumphed over the unseeded American 7-6 (7-2), 6-0.
The eighth-seeded Kvitova will face US Open champion Naomi Osaka in Saturday night’s final, with the winner to be crowned the women’s world number one.
In 2016, the Czech player’s career was derailed when a man attacked her with a knife in her own home, causing serious injuries to her hand. Kvitova was told she only had 10% chance of playing at an elite level again, but is now poised to add to her two majors and become the world No 1.
Doctors feared Kvitova would never play tennis again but she made her return at the French Open the following year and is now in her first major final since winning her second Wimbledon title in 2014.
“I think not very many people believe that I can do that again, to stand on the court and play tennis and kind of play on this level,” Kvitova said.