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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Australian Open: singles or doubles? Siegemund has a “luxury problem”

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From a German perspective, Laura Siegemund was the only ray of hope at the Australian Open. The strong performances up to the third round make her ponder about her double future.

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After perhaps her last big individual match, Laura Siegemund found it noticeably difficult to say goodbye to Melbourne. It was “gigantic to be able to experience such tennis moments” again, said the 34-year-old after her splendid performance in the third round at the Australian Open: “It’s just fun, I would love to play every match on a place like that.”

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The world number 158 was spurred on by the “awesome mood” and a “penetrating French faction” in the packed Kia Arena. in the unequal duel against number four seeded Caroline Garcia again in top form. Strong of nerves, uncomfortable and tactically clever, she completely threw the title candidate, especially in the first set, on the brink of defeat. After 2:10 hours the 6:1, 3:6, 3:6 were only missing small things for the round of 16.

Siegemund: “I’m still going strong and fit”

Due to the success of Melbourne, the future plan of the Swabian suddenly falters. Actually, Siegemund wanted to concentrate even more on doubles with her Belgian partner Kirsten Flipkens, so as not to put too much strain on her injured knee. But the hard court tournament Down Under showed her: “I’m still going strong and fit.”

That’s why not only national coach Barbara Rittner hopes to see the French Open quarter-finalist from 2020 more often in singles in the future, “because that was really fun”. There are “many voices from outside and also within my team who say: Don’t you want to try it again?” revealed Siegemund. She herself was “a bit pondering”, not only because of the prize money of around 145,000 euros won. But things aren’t that simple.

She is “also a good doubles player” and wants to “achieve my goals there,” said Siegemund, who won the doubles competition at the US Open in 2020: “If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it again.” That’s why she unexpectedly finds herself in a “dilemma”. But she doesn’t want to complain: “It’s a luxury problem.”

Siegemund was the only ray of hope from the German team, the other nine players had already been eliminated in the first two rounds. For the first time since 2010, the Australian Open will take place in the second week of the tournament without German participation. While Boris Becker is following the women’s development with “a bit of a stomach ache”, Rittner is looking positively towards upcoming Grand Slam tournaments: “I think we can celebrate a few more victories in Paris, Wimbledon and New York.”

Rittner: “Laura is a role model for younger players”

In Melbourne, Siegemund defied the unpredictable weather and played four days in a row. She didn’t let herself be discouraged by losing the first round in doubles and finally showed against Garcia why she can be such an unpleasant opponent.

“She has a big fighting heart, doesn’t lose a ball,” praised Eurosport expert Boris Becker: “It wears you down, it’s annoying – especially the good players.” The heated discussion with the Spanish referee showed that the fire was still burning in her. The wild cheering at the subsequent point win also proved: Siegemund is in it with his heart.

She hasn’t lost any of her ambition over the years anyway. Two and a half hours after the unfortunate end, she practically forced herself to see the positive. “I have to be proud of my performance and my whole tournament.” But there is “no defeat in which I am not disappointed”. Also because of this attitude, she is “a role model” for the young players, said Rittner.

Source: Stern

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