Petra Kvitova reaches ‘miracle’ semifinal at the French Open


Kvitova admitted after the match Wednesday she had been feeling nervous from the moment she woke up, but there were no signs those nerves affected the Czech’s game as she continued the impressive form she has been displaying in Paris.

The two-time grand slam champion is yet to drop a set over the course of the tournament.

“Going into the match, I knew it would be a big fight about every point,” Kvitova told reporters.

“She’s a very tricky opponent, she has lots of variety in her game, and I knew it would be very tough. Of course, playing the quarterfinal of a grand slam, it’s nothing easy with the nerves as well. So I’m pretty happy about my side, of the mental side and about how I handle it, the pressure, out there as well.”

Victory over world No. 66 Siegemund, who enjoyed her best ever run at a grand slam, means Kvitova faces American Sofia Kenin in the final four. Kenin defeated compatriot Danielle Collins 6-4 4-6 6-0 on Wednesday and continues her pursuit of a second grand slam title, having won the Australian Open earlier this year.

Both players are bidding to play in their first French Open final, which for Kvitova would be another remarkable step in her career since suffering a knife attack at her home in the Czech Republic in 2016.
In the aftermath, Kvitova said she was “fortunate to be alive” and went on make her tennis comeback at Roland Garros the following year.

“When I just look back anyway, those four years were very tough but very happy, too,” Kvitova said when asked to reflect on her journey.

“I mean, of course it’s a mix of emotions what happened. It’s tough for me right now to think back, so I prefer not to … I just wanted to look forward right now and maybe when the tournament is finished I can look back if you want.”

In order to secure her first French Open title, 30-year-old Kvitova will need to defeat Kenin and either Iga Swiatek or Nadia Podoroska, both surprise packages at this year’s tournament.

World No. 54 Swiatek knocked out pre-tournament favorite Simona Halep on her way to her first grand slam semifinal, while Podoroska is the first qualifier in the Open Era to reach the final four of the French Open, having enjoyed a sensational rise up the world rankings this year.

“I think mentally she’s just there, for sure,” Kvitova said of Podoroska. “She has confidence in her game, and she’s really using it.”

Whatever the result in Thursday’s semifinals, by the end of the week Roland-Garros will have crowned a new women’s champion. But to just be playing in a semifinal makes Kvitova happy enough.

“To be honest, right now to be in the semifinal after everything I have been through, which we talked a little bit about, it probably means more because I couldn’t imagine that I can be in the semifinal of a grand slam and final of the Australian Open (in 2019) even before.

“So it’s another miracle happening to me.”



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