Petra Kvitova wasn’t alone achieving a personal milestone.
The seventh-seeded Kvitova swept Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 powering into her first Roland Garros quarterfinal in eight years without surrendering a set.
The left-hander controlled the center of the court streaking out to a 4-0 lead and never trailed reaching her 13th career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
It was a double victory for Kvitova, who will return to the WTA Top 10 by virtue of her quarterfinal run.
Kvitova conceded she grew emotional closing out the match thinking about the love and support her family and friends showed after she suffered stab wounds to her racquet hand in a horrific home invasion in 2016 that required her to undergo a three hour plus surgery to repair tendon and ligament damage to her left hand.
“I got a bit emotional last two points of my match,” Kvitova said. “I really started to think still about the match because in tennis we really never know when it’s end.
“But my memories, happy memories, when I made my comeback here 2017, when I step on the Philippe Chatrier, I couldn’t really imagine me to be in the quarterfinal of this slam. Everything just came back to me.”
Three years ago, the Czech’s entire support team—including her parents Jiri and Pavla, brothers Jiri and Libor and friend and sometime Fed Cup teammate Lucie Hradecka—wore black t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Courage, Belief, Pojd”, a Czech word for “come on” cheering Kvitova on in her comeback win at Roland Garros.
“With the heart, anything is possible,” Kvitova said afterward.
Memories of that moment flashed through her mind like a stop-action movie as Kvitova made her quarterfinal return today.
“When I’m talking, I’m getting emotional again,” Kvitova said. “It’s been long ride definitely. Everything came to my mind when I had my whole family, people who I loved to helped me through the tough, tough time.
“I don’t know, just everything came back to my mind. I just saw them. I was just playing on the Philippe Chatrier. Yeah, I mean, it was such nice to win the match and to be in the quarterfinal.”
The two-time Wimbledon winner and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin are the only Grand Slam singles champions still standing in Paris. Next up for Kvitova is a quarterfinal clash vs. Germany’s Laura Siegemund.
Photo credit:Roland Garros Facebook