Former Wimbledon champion announces timely arrival of her first child

Kevin Palmer
Petra Kvitova announces arrival of her son
Petra Kvitova announces the arrival of her son

Timing is everything in sport and two-time former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has announced the arrival of her first child mid-way through the tournament that created her tennis legacy.

Kvitova has confirmed that she has given birth to her first son during the 2024 edition of the grass-court Grand Slam, where was a champion in 2011 and 2014.

The news has been greeted with delight by the tennis community, with her announcement on Instagram inspiring tennis players Belinda Bencic, Viktorija Golubic, Kiki Bertens and thousands of her fans to send messages of congratulations.

Kvitova confirmed she was expecting her first child with husband and former tennis player Jiri Vanek with a social media post at the start of this year.

“On the first day of 2024, I wanted to wish you a happy new year and share the exciting news that Jiri and I will be welcoming a baby into our family this summer!” Kvitova wrote on Instagram, alongside pictures of her husband holding a baby’s onesie emblazoned with “Courage, Belief, Pojd”. This has been a personal slogan since 2017.

Her message concluded as she added: “I’m looking forward to spending some time at home preparing for this exciting next chapter in our lives.”

Kvitova may soon be weighing up a return to tennis and recent history confirms Mothers can thrive when they return to the sport.

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Caroline Wozniacki made an impressive return to tennis in 2023 after giving birth to two children and Serena Williams also continued her career after she became a mother who her first child, Olympia.

Elina Svitolina is also enjoying success on the court after the arrival of her first child with her husband and fellow tennis player Gael Monfils.

Kvitova had commented on whether this new chapter in her life will signal the end of her tennis career, but there must be doubts over whether she will return at the age of 34.

The Czech star reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year and enjoyed her best moments on court as she won the Miami Open title in March 2023.

The arrival of her first baby continues a story of joy for Petra and Jiri at this time of the year as he proposed to his wife at Wimbledon in 2022.

“Of course, I will remain Kvitova,” she said after getting married. “It’s not even worth changing. No one will remember it anyway.

“The first days after the wedding, I felt a little strange that I was married, but gradually I got used to it.

“The wedding day was amazing, I’m sure everyone enjoyed it with us. Really great, even though the weather held out for us. A beautiful day.”

Kvitova has a special place in the hearts of tennis fans after she bounced back from a horrifying attack in 2016, when she was stabbed by an intruder.

Radim Zondra, 33, went to her flat in 2016 saying he needed to inspect the boiler and he then grabbed Kvitova from behind and held a knife to her throat.

She suffered severe wounds to her left hand in the fight to free herself but returned to tennis five months later.