Less than two weeks ago, former World No.1 Angelique Kerber had a win-loss record of just 2-8 for the season. Now the three-time Grand Slam champion is on a six-match winning streak, with her quest for the Career Grand Slam still alive after a comeback first-round win at Roland Garros.
No.21 seed Kerber of Germany overcame 89th-ranked Magdalena Frech of Poland, saving two match points and prevailing 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in front of an excited Court 6 crowd on Monday.
The 2-hour and 28-minute victory was Kerber's first match-win at Roland Garros since her quarterfinal run in 2018.
PHOTOS: Great Escapes 2022: Winning from match point down
"I think there is no secret," Kerber said, after her win. "I just put everything I had today on court. I left my heart on court.
"To have the crowd like this here, it's unbelievable. Especially in the third set, they pushed me through. To have all the support as all the fans with you, celebrating every single ball. ... I was just trying as well to enjoy this, because it was such a great moment on court with the fans."
Epic wins: Kerber has now pulled off two gripping victories in a row to keep her winning streak going. In her previous match, just two days ago, Kerber won her 14th career singles title in Strasbourg by outlasting Kaja Juvan in a 3-hour and 16-minute thriller, the longest final of the season.
Kerber had initial difficulty getting into rhythm in her Paris opener, as Frech won 73 percent of receiving points to sweep through the first set. But the German flipped the match in the second set, where she hit 10 winners and only two unforced errors.
Fresh off her title run in Strasbourg 💥— wta (@WTA) May 23, 2022
🇩🇪 @AngeliqueKerber saves 2 match points and outlasts Frech in three sets!#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/tLHfC2K7VD
Frech quickly jumped ahead in the third set by breaking in the opening game, and she maintained that lead up to 5-4, where she served for the match and held her two match points. But Kerber drew backhand errors from Frech to stay alive, and the German eventually broke for 5-5.
At 6-5, it was Kerber's turn to reach double match point after another backhand miscue by Frech. On the second match point, one of the numerous lengthy rallies ended with a Frech forehand flying out of bounds, and Kerber checked off another win as she turns around her season.
"I was just trying to believe in myself, taking the confidence that I got from Strasbourg," Kerber said. "I know that I can turn around matches with match point down, and I was just trying to play point by point and run for every ball."
Looking ahead: In the second round, Kerber will face rising French wildcard Elsa Jacquemot, after she dismissed Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-3, 6-3. Jacquemot, 19, won the Junior Roland Garros singles title in 2020 and is currently at a career-high ranking of No.215.
A Roland Garros title would complete Kerber's set of all four Grand Slams. She won the 2016 Australian Open, the 2016 US Open, and 2018 Wimbledon. Her best showings at the French Open are quarterfinal runs in 2012 and 2018.