Kvitova gets emotional after return to French Open quarters

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Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic celebrates winning her fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against China's Zhang Shuai in two sets 6-2, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS – Petra Kvitova owns two Wimbledon titles, so making it to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the 13th time should not necessarily feel like a big deal to her.

Ah, but this was different. Which is why Kvitova’s emotions swelled and her eyes watered after she beat Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 on Monday at the French Open, where she hadn’t reached the round of eight since 2012.

Poignantly, this was the tournament where Kvitova made her tennis comeback three years ago, following a harrowing knife attack that left her with serious injuries to her racket-swinging left hand and with doubts about whether she’d ever play again.

“My memories. Happy memories. ... Everything just came back to me,” said the No. 7 seed, who next faces Laura Siegemund, a first-time Slam quarterfinalist.

“When I’m talking, I’m getting emotional again. It’s been a long ride, definitely. Everything came to my mind -- my whole family, people who I loved, (who helped) me through the tough, tough time,” Kvitova said. “I don’t know, just everything came back.”

GASTRONOMY IN PARIS? HARDLY

Paris has long been known as one of the culinary capitals of the world.

Not so for Laura Siegemund, at least not on this occasion.