Prague, Czech Republic – Radim Zondra, the man who stabbed Czech tennis champion Petra Kvitova in her home in 2016, has been sentenced to eight years in jail. Appearing at a regional court in Brno, the man, who is currently serving a prison sentence for another crime, denied all charges against him.
Radim Zondra went to Kvitova’s flat in 2016 saying he needed to inspect the boiler before grabbing the two-time Czech Wimbledon champion from behind and holding a knife to her throat. As she struggled with the intruder, Kvitova sustained damage to the tendons in her left hand, along with injuries to all five fingers and two nerves.
“He asked me to turn on the hot water tap and at that moment I had a knife against my neck,” she testified in February, “I grabbed it with both hands. I held the blade with my left hand. I snatched it away, I fell on the floor and there was blood everywhere.”
Petra Kvitova then had to undergo a four-hour surgery after which doctors warned her that her tennis career could be over and that she may even lose her fingers. Yet, the 29-year-old Bílovec native returned to tennis in May 2017, following months of rehabilitation, and crowning her comeback 18 months later with her first final appearance at the 2019 Australian Open.
When Kvitova testified in February, said she immediately recognised Zondra in police photographs by his eyes. Her testimony provided key evidence for the court to rule in the case, said Judge Dagmar Bordovska, despite Zondra denying ever being in the tennis star’s home. Prosecutors argued that DNA evidence and the positive identification from Kvitova meant he was guilty beyond all doubt.
Kvitova’s spokesman, Karel Tejkal, said she “respects the ruling of an independent court”.
Now in the US competing in the Miami Open, the current world number two lost yesterday to Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals.