Paris (AP) – After the “nerve battle” in cold and wet Paris and her first quarter-finals in a Grand Slam tournament, Laura Siegemund first put on a thick jacket.
“It’s not fun at the moment, it’s hard on the body too. The balls are so heavy, the cold is not healthy,” said the 32-year-old from Metzingen after her round of 16 success at the French Open. But immediately the German number three added behind the already failed Angelique Kerber and Julia Görges: “You have decided to play tennis here. Then you can’t complain.”
Siegemund sat more exhausted than euphoric in the digital press conference and analyzed their success more soberly than emotionally. With another impressive performance at 7: 5, 6: 2 against the also unseeded Spaniard Paula Badosa, the Swabian defied the freak weather and rewarded herself for her fighting spirit and morale with a quarter-finals on Wednesday against the two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic.
“It was always my dream to be part of a Grand Slam in the singles in the second week. It was one of my big goals and I’m glad that I was able to achieve it,” said the number 66 in the world rankings. At the US Open in New York Siegemund had recently won the double title with the Russian Vera Swonarewa, but in the singles the quarter-finals on clay in Paris is her greatest success.
One day after the hotly debated tournament knockout. by Alexander Zverev, it made positive headlines from a German perspective. The Hamburger was eliminated on Sunday in the round of 16 against 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner. His statements that he had a fever the night before and felt sick, then caused heated discussions, especially on social media, about whether Zverev was allowed to play in this state and whether he was a danger to his opponent and the other people the place was. According to the organizers, the last time Zverev was tested was on September 29th and the result was negative.
Before the game, the German number one did not inform the tournament doctor about his problems, it said in a statement by the French association, about which the “New York Times” reported.
Laura Siegemund was and is not doing really well either. In the past few days she has complained of back problems, before the match against Badosa she struggled with a rumbling stomach. “Today it was exhausting, it was kind of a nerve battle,” said Siegemund and explained: “The tension was higher, plus the wind, it was wet and cold.”
She was 3: 5 behind in the first round, her regular training partner served to win the set. But Siegemund, who played with leggings and a long-sleeved top, stayed cool, countered with four wins in succession and secured the first set after 52 minutes. In the second round Badosa had to be treated on the back, Siegemund asked for something to be brought to him and then kept himself warm on the spot with serve movements and triple steps.
After 96 minutes she used her first match point – and a little later looked hopefully into the near future. “I’ve seen a lot of tournaments that started off badly, under very difficult conditions, very disgusting,” said Siegemund. “And on the day of the final the sun was shining and it was a wonderful day.”