Petra Kvitova is back in the French Open semifinals for the first time in eight years and, emotionally, three years after returning to tennis at Roland Garros after being attacked by a robber in her home.
The seventh-seeded Czech swept 66th-ranked German Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-3 in a Wednesday quarterfinal, moving two wins shy of a third Grand Slam singles title (and first in Paris).
Kvitova, who hasn’t lost a set in five matches, gets an American in Thursday’s semifinals — No. 4 seed Sofia Kenin or 57th-ranked Danielle Collins, who play later Wednesday.
Kvitova’s emotion was clear on Monday, when she won a fourth-round match on Court Philippe Chatrier, the same venue where, in 2017, she returned from the harrowing attack by a knife-wielding robber. Kvitova underwent nearly four hours of surgery on her primary left hand, which suffered nerve and tendon damage in the December 2016 attack.
“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,” Kvitova said after shedding tears following her fourth-round victory. “Everything just came back to me.”
Kvitova has been known as a grass-court star, winning a pair of Wimbledon titles. Since her comeback, her best Slam result came on a hard court, reaching the 2019 Australian Open final.
“It’s been a miracle for me to make the semifinal here in Roland Garros,” she said of her 2012 run. “I wasn’t really the player who always ever succeed on the clay.”
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