PARIS May 28 Petra Kvitova made an emotional and convincing return to competition, showing no ill effects from the stabbing injury to her hand, with a 6-3 6-2 French Open first-round victory against American Julia Boserup on Sunday.
The Czech, who spent five months out of the game after needing emergency surgery last December when she was stabbed in her left, playing hand during a burglary, set up a second-round meeting with either Russian Evgeniya Rodina or American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The twice Wimbledon champion, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2012, looked poised and focused, treating the sparse Court Philippe Chatrier crowd to a few exquisite drop shots and lightning-quick forehands.
Even though she probably enjoyed the moment, Kvitova wasted little time on court and was the first player to reach the second round.
An early double fault meant little as she opened a 2-0 lead by breaking in the second game.
Mixing winners and unforced errors in almost equal measure, Kvitova had three break points to go 4-0 up but Boserup saw them off, although she could not overturn all the advantage. The Czech 15th seed, who benefits from a protected ranking, took the opening set with a solid half volley.
She broke twice in the second, sealing victory when Boserup netted a forehand.
Kvitova dropped her racket and held her head in her hands, her eyes filling with tears while her support team, wearing T-shirts marked "Courage, Belief, Pojd (Come on! in Czech), celebrated wildly.
"Thank you guys I love you so much," she told the crowd, who applauded generously.
"I'm glad with the way I played."
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Lovell)