The brutal attack on Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová shocked not just the Czech Republic but the world. But in spite of an encouraging response from the public to police appeals for help and high priority for the case, the attacker has still not been found. The tennis star’s home tennis club has now stepped in with a bid to help the investigation.
The Moravian town of Prostějov and perhaps especially its tennis club is and has been a sort of second home for Petra Kvitová. She was 16 when she moved to the town and the tennis club and under the guidance of coaches there developed the hard hitting aggressive style that eventually rocketed her up the world tennis rankings and brought her grand slam trophies. After Kvitová’s first Wimbledon singles win in 2011 she brought back the trophy to where else but Prostějov as a sort of thank you for the years of support. And more recently she showed off there her bronze medal from the Olympic Games.
And between the hectic jet setting life on the WTA tour, it is to Prostějov, around 70 kilometres from her home town, that Kvitová habitually returns for rest and recuperation and often training for the next big tournament looming. And that in some ways made the attack on the 26-year-old star at her flat in the town even more shocking.
Police have issued an identikit of the attacker, a man described as around 35 years old with average height. And they say that the initial public response to their appeal for help was encouraging. Police spokesman František Kořínek:
“At the moment the investigation of the case is continuing with the maximum possible number of police. We are evaluating all the leads we have and all the information at our disposal. We had around 20 responses from the public on the basis of the description we issued and the identikit. It’s impossible to say at the moment how many of these leads we are pursuing or have eliminated.”
But with two weeks now having passed since the attack, the Prostějov tennis club has decided to give a boost to the police search with the offer of a 100,000 crown (around 3000 euro) reward for any member of the public giving information that leads to an arrest.
Coaches, players, groundsmen, and the club owner all contributed to the reward which was made public on Wednesday. They say they are still shocked over the attack on Kvitová which left the fingers of her left playing hand severely damaged and requiring immediate surgery. Even after a successful operation, its estimated that she will be six months out of the top professional game.
Police have welcomed the offer of the reward, František Kořínek again: “The promise of a reward was only made yesterday so it’s not possible to react. Nonetheless, we welcome any kind of help or initiative that will help us clear up the circumstances surrounding this case and to catch the perpetrator.”