KEY POINTS

  • Petra Kvitova defeated Zhang Shuai in the fourth round of Roland Garros
  • Kvitova recalled her return to tennis after the traumatic knife attack she endured in 2016
  • This will be Kvitova’s first Roland Garros quarterfinal appearance in eight years

Petra Kvitova easily took care of her fourth-round matchup against Zhang Shuai in a straight-set victory. After the match, she shared that it has been an emotional journey for her as the memories of her struggle after a career-threatening knife attack in 2016 came rushing in.

"Everything just came back to me," Kvitova said, BBC Sport reported.

"As I'm talking, I'm getting emotional again. It's been a long ride," she added.

At the time, the former Grand Slam champion suffered severe lacerations on her left hand and was told she had low chances of returning to tennis.

"I got a bit emotional during the last two points of my match," Kvitova added.

After the incident, Kvitova was able to bounce back immediately in 2017 and compete at the Roland Garros.

"I really started to think still about the match because in tennis we really never know when it's the 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 quarter-final of this Slam," Kvitova continued.

The seventh seed was in top form in her match as she was able to dictate the pace on the court. While she acknowledged how aggressive Zhang played, she also remained focused and quickly took out her opponent in a 6-2, 6-4, victory.

"Everything came to my mind when I had my whole family, people who I loved to helped me through the tough, tough time," the two-time Wimbledon champion shared.

"I don't know, just everything came back to my mind. I just saw them. I was just playing on Philippe Chatrier," Kvitova continued.

This is the first French Open quarterfinal for Kvitova in eight years as she’s seeking her first Roland Garros title.

"After eight years to be in the quarterfinal again, it's great. I'm really happy for that, that I'm still able to play on all surfaces," Kvitova added, ESPN reported.

Her next bout will be against the resurging 32-year-old German Laura Siegemund.