After a Sunday of upsets, the fourth round concluded today in the women’s draw with the favorites getting through.
Former semifinalist Petra Kvitova cruised to her second French Open semifinalist besting Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4. Afterward, the Czech broke down in tears having returned to the French three years ago after her winter stabbing.
“I wasn’t really the player who always ever succeed on the clay,” Kvitova said. “After eight years to be in the quarterfinal again, it’s great. I’m really happy for that, that I’m still able to play on all surfaces. One year I do remember I won tournaments on all surfaces. I showed myself that I can really play on every surface. So I’m glad for that.”
“I got a bit emotional last two points of my match,” she added. “I really started to think still about the match because in tennis we really never know when it’s end. But my memories, happy memories, when I made my comeback here 2017, when I step on the Philippe Chatrier, I couldn’t really imagine me to be in the quarterfinal of this slam. Everything just came back to me.
“It’s been long ride definitely. Everything came to my mind when I had my whole family, people who I loved to helped me through the tough, tough time. I don’t know, just everything came back to my mind. I just saw them. I was just playing on the Philippe Chatrier.”
The lefty will now meet the feisty Laura Siegemund who defeated former junior champion Paula Badosa 7-5, 6-2 on court Simonne Mathieu. At age 32, the German has finally reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
“It’s exciting to come so far. It was always my dream to be in the second week of a Slam,” Siegemund said.
“We just spoke about it with my boyfriend in the US Open. It was one big goal for me to make it in singles into the second week of a Slam. That’s where I see myself. That’s where I want to be. I’m glad I’m making that come true now.”
Kvitova beat Siegemund 6-1, 6-1 at the US Open in 2015 in their only previous meeting. But this is on clay.
“Clay is my favorite surface,” Siegemund said. “I feel like there’s also more in it for me. I want to take it one step at a time. Truly excited to be in the quarters. Also still in the zone. I try to have more than that, even.
“I’m relaxed. I’m happy that I got through this difficult day today. I’m not relaxed because the seeds are out. I like to play big names and try to beat them. I’m just happy with how I get through.”
Australian champion Sofia Kenin overcame a patchy start to eliminate the last French player Fiona Ferro 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.
After going down 2-0 in the first, Ferro ran off six straight games. In the second, though, her coach, Emmanuel Planque, was joined by Kenin’s dad Alex who got up from his seat and moved to sit right next to the Frenchman in a bizarre scene.
Whatever the impact, it sparked Kenin who began her run winning 12 of the last 15 games to reach her first French Open quarterfinal.
Kenin also burst into tears on court after the win.
“I was just super proud of myself,” Kenin said. “Yes, there was a lot of emotions. I was just super happy that I won. Like, the crowd wasn’t the best, which is understandable, but still I wish it would have been a little bit different.
“I’m like super happy that I’m in the quarters. I usually don’t play really good on clay. In the past in juniors, I really hated the clay. Last year I started to like it for the first time.
“I’m just super proud of myself. I feel like I’m playing really well.”
As for her father sitting next to Ferro’s coach?
“First of all, I mean, I don’t know why her coach sat in that section,” said Kenin.
“On the right, it’s the higher seed. I would imagine that he would be sitting on the other side. I didn’t really understand why he was sitting there,” she said. “M dad sat there. He tried to help me. he just sat there — and it worked. There’s nothing much to discuss about that.”
Said Ferro of talking to her coach, “At the end of the match,” she joked, “he told me, ‘You didn’t manage to get rid of Sofia, but I couldn’t get rid of her dad.’”
Kenin will have to wait a day to find out her quarterfinal opponent as late rain forced the postponement of the Danielle Collins-Ons Jabeur encounter. Both are seeking their first French quarter.
Also tomorrow, the quarters begin with three unlikely players – Iga Swiatek and qualifiers Martina Trevisan and Nadia Podoroska – and Elina Svitolina who’ll seek her third Slam semifinal in the last 15 months.
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