Petra Kvitova is happy to achieve her dream of playing at Wimbledon next week after recovering from serious injuries to her playing hand sustained during a knife attack in her home last December.The two-times champion was expected to be sidelined for at least six months after the attack and the 27-year-old said she feared missing the grand slam event this year.Kvitova returned to action at the French Open, where she was knocked out in the second round, and won the Aegon Classic on Sunday on her favourite grass-court surface.”I said if I am not playing I will probably not come just to watch,” Kvitova was quoted as saying by the Times.”Now I am coming to play which is even better. I think it will be amazing. It doesn’t matter if I win, lose or whatever, but the dream which I set when it (the attack) happened, that I wanted to play Wimbledon this year, will come.”The victory at Birmingham marked Kvitova’s first title this year but she could not celebrate with her trademark clenched fist salute due to the lingering effects of the injury.”I still can’t do my fist bump when I am playing,” she added. “The doctor said it will never be the same because of the scars for sure, and then we don’t know how everything will work out.”But I am happy that I am playing tennis and not badminton because there is a small grip, so it would be more difficult for me to hold.”advertisementThe Czech Republic player is the 11th seed at Wimbledon which starts on Monday.
ST HELENS CHAIRMAN EXPRESSES ANGER AT EX PLAYER HOHAIA’S DAMAGING AND FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT THE CLUB AND ITS STAFFSt Helens’ Chairman, Eamonn McManus, has followed up the Club’s official statement on Lance Hohaia’s recent false assertions and has expressed his personal incomprehension and anger at the damage that it has wrongly caused to the St Helens club and, importantly, to its highly respected professional staff.McManus stated:“We can all appreciate and sympathise with Lance over his feelings towards Ben Flower after his savage assault in the 2014 Grand Final against Wigan. St Helens and its medical staff naturally did everything to treat and support him at that time and thereafter.However, his recent series of utterly false accusations about the Club not supporting him and forcing him to play when he was not ready, is malicious and incorrect.His misstatements have wrongly damaged the respected and hard earned reputation of one of the world’s great rugby league clubs. However, I reserve my real anger for the damage and wrongdoing to our highly reputable and leading medical and rugby staff, each of whom could not have looked after Lance more professionally. Their reputations, livelihoods and lives have been wrongly maligned and undermined by his utterly untrue assertions. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by us.Furthermore, Lance claims that he is trying to help fellow players and athletes with his assertions. To the contrary, distortion of the truth by a high profile past player can only undermine and prejudice other genuine and serious medical cases, both present and future.Lance did not raise any concussive symptoms with relevant members of our staff from October 2014, when he went on holiday after the 2014 Grand Final, until April 2015, when thereafter he handed in his resignation without notice to the Club or to his teammates. His then retrospective assertions as to self diagnosed concussive symptoms were not supported in any way by our meticulously kept records.In the months before his resignation, in addition to being a full time rugby league player, he studied for a business degree in preparation for his planned new life and career in the United States. This was an impressive continuing achievement, but again utterly irreconcilable with his subsequent claims as to his wellbeing. Nevertheless, the Club still paid for his accommodation and cars after he had resigned and stayed in England in order to complete successfully his studies.However, he demanded to be continued to be paid a salary by the Club after had unilaterally resigned and terminated his services as a rugby player. This was as unbelievable as it was unjustifiable. He instructed various firms of solicitors, none of whom progressed his unfounded claims.St Helens and its staff supported Lance Hohaia at all times, as we do with all our players. That is the nature of a club of the very highest professional standing and standards, and this reputation is recognised as such throughout the sport.We will not tolerate our good name and the valuable reputations and livelihoods of our top professional staff being wrongly damaged by falsehood. We will take all appropriate actions to redress and remedy the situation. If we do not, the sport has no future.”