Petra Kvitova’s comeback from the knife attack which could have potentially ended her career will continue at the Aegon Classic after it was announced that she had been handed a wildcard into the tournament in Birmingham.
The Czech, who returned to the tour earlier than expected at the French Open, beating Julia Boserup in her first round clash, joins what is already a packed field, with eight of the world’s top ten already in action, and it will be interesting to see how she fairs on the surface on which she won both her Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014.
With the field being so strong Kvitova, who lost to Jelena Ostapenko in the second round last year, will be unseeded for the tournament.
Kvitova to make a return to her “favorite grass courts”
Grass is undoubtedly Kvitova’s strongest surface, and after her second round loss to Bethanie-Mattek Sands in Paris she will certainly be excited to return to a surface on which she has had so much success in the past, describing it as her “favorite grass courts.”
In a statement to British Tennis, the two-time Wimbledon champion said that, “I'm really excited to accept this wild card and to play in front of the great British fans,” before commenting further that, “My preparation for Wimbledon will be extra important as I continue my comeback so I'm glad that I will be playing at a fantastic tournament with a very strong field."
The appearance of such a notable player will likely be a huge draw for the tournament, especially considering the nature of Kvitova’s comeback and her popularity, though the tournament is already likely to attract large crowds with Kvitova adding to a stellar field in Birmingham.
Players already set to be in action include Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, and out of form world number one Angelique Kerber, as well as defending champion Madison Keys. Also in action will be former world number and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, who, like Kvitova, has received a wildcard following her return after a 15-month ban.