German women suffer 63-year low at French Open

·1-min read
Germany's Angelique Kerber lost to Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine in the first round of the French Open

With no female German player in the second round of the French Open for the first time since 1958, the country's women's tennis chief admits the prospects of unearthing the next Steffi Graf are looking bleak.

Andrea Petkovic's defeat to Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic on Tuesday saw her follow Angelique Kerber and Laura Siegemund in exiting Roland Garros in the first round.

It's a far cry from the days of Graf when the German legend won six French Open titles between 1987 and 1999, the year she retired.

"It's not all very positive at the moment," Barbara Rittner, the head of women's tennis at the German Tennis Federation (DTB), told Eurosport.

"We have some great talent, but we do not have anyone who is exceptional.

"There is currently no 14 or 15-year-old in German tennis, who I would immediately say: 'Wait two more years, she'll be a star'."

The main concern is that the trio of German women who exited the first round of Roland Garros are all approaching the end of their careers.

Petkovic, a French Open semi-finalist in 2014, three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber, a two-time quarter-finalist in Paris, and Siegemund, who reached the last-eight in 2020, are all 33.

"On the one hand, it's a snapshot; on the other hand, our generation has become a bit older," Petkovic admitted.

"It's more difficult to bring a high intensity in training sessions day after day."

Petkovic was not unhappy with her performance against Muchova, "but the wins have to come from somewhere," she added, having lost ten of her 14 matches in 2021.

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