Siegemund feels confident in her knee, she said, but still wears a large brace on her right leg for some physical and mental reassurance.
“I do want to take it off,” she said, laughing. “It doesn’t look very pretty, it’s really ugly. Maybe a shout-out to all the people that make braces, maybe they can do something nice instead of this.”
Siegemund, who notched five wins against top-10 players on clay last year, said she did not dwell on what might have been during her recovery, even though the French Open yielded many upsets, including the championship victory by an unseeded Jelena Ostapenko.
“I’m not on that hypothetical trip so much,” Siegemund said. “What happened to me, I had to deal with it. I saw it as a task I had to manage, and I think that helped me to get through all of it in a positive way, and really come back stronger, a little bit, from it.”
Siegemund’s next tournament will be next week in Stuttgart, where last year she won her second WTA title. In addition to the trophy and prize money, Siegemund earned a car from Porsche, the title sponsor of the event. The company did a custom paint job in “frozen berry,” a color that Siegemund described as purplish taupe, and by the time the car was finished, its owner could not bend her knee enough to get in.
Siegemund said she was not putting pressure on herself to succeed quickly, but she has not dimmed her expectations after returning to tour as what she considers a more well-rounded player and person, while still hungry for on-court success.
“I don’t want to be where I was before — I want to be better than that,” she said. “But maybe in a different way.”