STUTTGART, Germany - Defending champion Laura Siegemund is full of positivity as she returns to the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The 30-year-old put together a stunning run to the biggest title of her career last spring, knocking off Svetlana Kuznetsova, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, and Kristina Mladenovic in a third-set tiebreak to drive away with the Stuttgart title.
Then came injury. Weeks later, in her second-round match in Nuremberg, Siegemund went wide for a ball and went down in a heap. In line to be seeded at the French Open, Siegemund had ruptured the ACL in her right knee and was suddenly sidelined for 10 months.
"I think I was in a very positive state of mind," Siegemund said on the WTA Insider Podcast, after making her way back on the tour-level at the Volvo Car Open earlier this month. "The year hadn't been easy for me up until Charleston. I played well but I didn't do well. So I worked a lot on my attitude, keeping things up, and keeping in a good mood. So at the point the injury happened, of course, people said oh, how can it be in that moment! But I don't think that the moment matters so much. Of course, I was playing well but it's not nice to have this happen at any time."
Hear Siegemund's full interview on the new episode of the WTA Insider Podcast below:
On what the last 10 months have been like:
"It's been a long 10 months. I did great things away from sports and tennis but it's been a lot of work. But when you go back out there and can actually enjoy yourself again and not have to think about a physical issue, that's just such a nice thing. It's worth all the work in the end."
On what she did during her time away:
"I was reading a lot at the beginning. Then I wanted to do something with it, be a little bit more practical. The Federation invited me to give a presentation, and I thought sure, I'll do that. I put everything that I had read and all the things that I had accumulated over the years in tennis, I finally sat down and wrote that down and put it into concepts for me. It's something that I always wanted to do but I never had the time and energy. I presented it there and everyone loved it. I loved being in front of the people and have that interaction. It was a big success and after that other companies were asking me to do it as well."
On whether returning in time for Stuttgart was the goal:
"Everyone's talking about Stuttgart and of course it's my home tournament and I won it last year. But it's not only about Stuttgart. I see the bigger picture and I want to play healthy from now on. For me, Stuttgart was not a deadline, that I need to be fit. I always said I want to see how the knee feels. Now I felt like I can be ready for the clay court tournaments. My performance here in Charleston tells me this was the right thing to do."
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