Paris (AP) – When Daniel Altmaier arrived in Paris last week, he had never played a main match in any of the four Grand Slam tournaments. More than two weeks later, the 22-year-old qualifying match from Kempen fights for a place in the eighth finals at the French Open.
Against the number seven seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini, Altmaier may even open the seventh day of the tournament at the Stade Roland Garros on the Center Court on Saturday at 11 a.m. “In qualifying he still dreamed of Court Philippe Chatrier,” said tennis legend Boris Becker as a TV pundit at Eurosport.
Altmaier has made an impression in Paris so far with a mix of emotions on and calm off the square. He also expects a lot against Berrettini on Saturday. “I have to play bravely again”, says Altmaier. “When you are taught day in and day out that you can do it, then you believe in it,” says Altmaier of the contribution his Argentinian coach Francisco Yunis has made to success. With a win over Berrettini, he would follow German number one Alexander Zverev to the second round.
Only Laura Siegemund still competes in the women’s competition. The 32-year-old Swabian will meet number 13 seed Petra Martic on an outdoor track in the third game after 11:00. “She is a very dangerous opponent, especially on clay,” said Siegemund of the Croat.
The chance of progress also depends on Siegemund’s health. The Fed Cup player suffered from back problems and had to give up on Friday after a set in the doubles next to the Russian Swonarewa in the second round. Despite all the pain, Siegemund is determined to try against Martic. After all, she never made it to the round of 16 in any of the four Grand Slam tournaments.