Paris (AP) – When we look at the women’s tournament table, even proven experts are thinking about the French Open.
Martina Trevisan, Nadia Podoroska, Barbora Krejcikova or Paula Badosa – these names were known only to well-known connoisseurs before the Grand Slam spectacle in Paris. But in times of Corona, everything is different in tennis too. “I really believe this will happen in this confusing year,” said Laura Siegemund.
The 32-year-old Swabian benefits from the chaos on the field. With a hard-fought 6: 7 (5: 7), 6: 3, 6: 0 against number 13 seeded Croatian Petra Martic, Siegemund is in the round of 16 for the first time in one of four Grand Slam tournaments. There it is now Monday against the Spaniard Badosa. The world’s number 87 threw Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, Parisian 2017 champion, out of the tournament on Saturday – one of many surprises at the French Open, which was moved from May to autumn.
Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova, Elise Mertens, Garbine Muguruza or Angelique Kerber – the list of seeded players who are no longer part of the Stade Roland Garros at the start of the second week is long. “Even the big names have a hard time finding their way in,” said Siegemund.
The number 66 in the world is one of the players who has played a lot since the reboot after the month-long Corona hiatus. Palermo, Prague, Cincinnati, New York, Rome (doubles) and now Paris – Siegemund was there practically wherever possible. “Each player has chosen their own path. I think it was good for me to gain as much experience as possible,” said Siegemund.
Because life on the tennis tour in Corona times has nothing to do with what it was in normal times. Constant corona tests, strict hygiene rules, life in the so-called hotel bubble and now in Paris also the erratic weather in autumn. “That demands a lot from the players,” said German female boss Barbara Rittner.
And not all of them handle these special challenges well. Angelique Kerber, for example, never gave the impression that with her clear opening defeat, she really wanted to be in Paris. Others adapt better to the situation. And it cannot be ruled out that there will be a surprising winner in the Bois de Boulogne this year. Such a title would not be lacking because of the corona chaos. On the contrary, those who face all concerns and problems above all deserve the triumph. It does not matter if the name was already known to the experts.