Battling for the spot among the last four at the WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal, the two players were giving it their all. The first set went into a tie-break, and the Czech player, who had recently married her coach, won it 7-3.
But Bencic, who has an ambition to by Switzerland's flag bearer at the 2024 Olympics, quickly fought back, and won the second set 6-3. The start of the third set went also better for the Swiss player, who was leading 1-0 and 30-0 on Kvitova's serve.
With Bencic leading, an unforeseen misstep changed the game's complexion. The Swiss player rolled her ankle and collapsed on the court, sending a hush through the stadium during the painful fall.
Yet, what followed was a moment that epitomized the very essence of sportsmanship. Petra Kvitova, without hesitation, grabbed a bag of ice and rushed towards her opponent. This was not about the score, the stakes, or even the title. This was about an athlete recognizing a fellow athlete's pain and immediately offering support.
Interestingly, Kvitova's gesture transcends tennis. It harks back to an era where Czechoslovakia, now split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, existed. Bencic, who possesses Slovak roots, and Kvitova share a linguistic and cultural bond that's often overlooked. It's a bond that allowed them to communicate in their native tongues.
As Bencic sat in her chair, nursing her injury, it wasn't the medical staff or her coach who was at her side—it was Kvitova. The duo exchanged words in their shared language. After a brief hiatus, Bencic managed to return to the court and continue the match, despite the unexpected twist that stopped her progression for a moment. Moreover, she was able to win the match in three sets as on the other hand, Kvitova started to struggle with a health problem.