Paris (AP) – A glass of red wine to comfort the soul after the missed semi-final premiere was out of the question for Laura Siegemund.
“I don’t drink alcohol, so it doesn’t have to be a glass of red wine,” said the last remaining German tennis player after her quarter-final defeat at the French Open when she was asked whether, despite the disappointment about the elimination, she was in the for her overall great performance in the past few weeks.
At the US Open, the German number three won the doubles title, at the French Open she went further than all her national competitors: Angelique Kerber failed in the first round, Siegemund won against Julia Görges in round two. But now there are no longer any German professionals in the individual competitions of the clay court tournament in the French capital. Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies fight in doubles for a place in the final. Last year’s winners are up against the US Open finalists Wesley Koolhof / Nikola Mektic (Netherlands / Croatia).
For Siegemund, however, the two-time Wimbledon winner was too strong on the longed-for path to her first semi-final at one of the four most important tournaments. “I mean, it was Petra Kvitova I played against,” said Siegemund. That is to say: With full strength and a really outstanding performance, she could perhaps beat number seven on the seed list.
But not on that day when Siegemund was plagued by back problems and had to seek treatment. And where Kvitova “played very well, served very well and made very few easy mistakes”, as Siegemund laconically analyzed.
At the moment she was “extremely disappointed,” said the 32-year-old from Metzingen after the clear 3: 6, 3: 6 defeat. But the Swabian, who had completed a psychology degree, knew how to realistically classify recent events. In New York she won the doubles title alongside the Russian Vera Swonarewa as the first German since Claudia Kohde-Kilsch in 1985.
Siegemund, who was ennobled as a child prodigy early on and was given Steffi Graf comparisons, had already ended her career in 2012. She came back and celebrated the mixed title in New York in 2016 alongside Croatian Mate Pavic. In 2017 she won the home tournament in Stuttgart, a little later she tore a cruciate ligament in Nuremberg and had to take a long break. But she fought her way back. In the world rankings it will approach the top 50.
“I’ve had a serious injury and worked my way back. I have to take the results with me, I’ve rewarded myself for the work of the last two or three years,” said Siegemund, when she came to a conciliatory conclusion at the end of her working day and especially looking forward to a few days at home. “In retrospect, I will definitely see the whole thing as a great success,” she said. “When I can calm down and heal my back, I’ll be a little proud of it in my heart.”
Kvitova used her second match point after 80 minutes. She now meets Sofia Kenin, who won the US duel with Danielle Collins 6: 4, 4: 6, 6: 0.