The first match on Court Simonne Mathieu Monday saw German veteran Laura Siegemund and Spanish youngster Paula Badosa clash in the round of 16 of the French Open, their second career meeting, first in more than six years, and also the first above the ITF level.
The only last-16 clash in the bottom half of the draw to not feature a seed, it was the older player Siegemund who utilized her experience and variety to move past her opponent in straight sets in securing the debut appearance of her career in the quarterfinal stage of the Grand Slams.
Siegemund settles down to capture opening set
Badosa started off the match with a love service hold, winning a nine-shot rally by forcing an error from Siegemund. This was followed by a long seven-minute game from the German where she saved two break points to edge out the hold.
She then carried this momentum into the next game, denying Badosa’s three-game points to record the first break of serve of the match, doing so on her second attempt. The Spaniard, however, was not let down as she stormed right back to break her older opponent to love next, doing so with a winner of her own, to level the set at 2-2.
The next three games were all service holds between the pair, Siegemund having need to save two break points at 2-3, doing so by hitting back-to-back winners before getting the hold. Badosa, however, would run away with the next eight points in succession, breaking Siegemund to love once more in the process, to get the chance to close out the set.
The Spaniard, however, was not able to do so, despite having a set point of her own, as her opponent pulled off back-to-back winners to get back on serve. An easy hold by Siegemund for 5-5 followed, and the German then went on to break her opponent next after an error-strewn game on the latter’s part. She then served out the set to love, 7-5, after 52 minutes of play.
Siegemund maintains momentum to victory
The second set began with Siegemund immediately clinching the service break. However, she found herself on the verge of being broken next before producing two winners in succession to consolidate her break lead.
The next service game was a topsy-turvy affair as Badosa would race off to three-game points for a love service hold, only for her German opponent to take the game to deuce. The Spaniard would end up needing to save two break points to get on the scoreboard in this set.
Siegemund would then concede just one more game to Badosa, that coming in a long game that lasted almost seven minutes where the Spaniard overcame four break points to obtain the hold of serve, as Siegemund stepped up on serve, dropping just one point in her final three service games, the last of which saw her serve out the match comfortably to love hence closing it out, in an hour and 36 minutes.
Despite having served no aces, Badosa finished the match with the higher percentage of first serves, 70 to her opponent’s 67, but was successful in just 54% of points played behind them. Siegemund, in contrast, was the more dominant one on serve, producing two aces and winning 72% of first-serve points.
The German was also more efficient at the net, winning six of nine points there to her opponent’s ten of eighteen. Although both players spread out 30 unforced errors apiece, Siegemund’s 25 winners proved key to victory, with Badosa managing less than half of the German’s total, 12.
Siegemund will next face seventh seed Petra Kvitova in the last eight. This will be the second time both women meet across the net, also their second at the Grand Slams, after the US Open five years back where Kvitova comfortably saw off the German 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round. Siegemund will be bidding to employ every trick up her sleeve to frustrate the Czech’s game and lock in the first Grand Slam semifinal appearance of her career.