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Paris semi-final spot another miracle for nervous Kvitova

PARIS (Reuters) - Petra Kvitova was so nervous ahead of Wednesday’s match against Laura Siegemund that she did not want to play, but the Czech was glad she was able to hold her nerve and reach the French Open semi-finals again after an eight-year gap.

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The seventh seed, a two-times Wimbledon champion, had not lost a set coming into her quarter-final against the 66th-ranked Siegemund, who was appearing in the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time.

“Since I woke up today I felt pretty nervous,” Kvitova, 30, told reporters. “I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to eat, didn’t want to move, I didn’t want to go out there and play. But I knew if I step out there everything will be much better.

“I’m glad even though I had those nerves which was really big, was the biggest in this tournament, I still found a way and played great tennis.”

Kvitova started on an aggressive note, serving strongly while using her powerful groundstrokes to hit winners on Court Philippe Chatrier on the way to a 6-3 6-3 win.

She made the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2012 but the claycourts in Paris hold an even more special place for the Czech as she made her return to professional tennis there three years ago after a serious injury.

Kvitova was sidelined for six months following a burglar attack at her home that left her with severe damage to the nerves and tendons in her playing left hand.

Since her comeback at the 2017 French Open, the former world number two has climbed back up the rankings and reached the Australian Open final in 2019.

“To be honest right now to be in the semi-final after everything I have been through ... it probably means more (than 2012 semi-finals) because I couldn’t imagine that I can be in the semi-final of the Grand Slam and final of the Australian Open even before,” she said.

“So it’s another miracle that happened to me.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond

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