The last time Laura Siegemund and Kristina Mladenovic met was in the round of 16 in Madrid in 2019. Mladenovic would command the court in a straight-set victory and it appeared more of the same would occur on Tuesday in Paris.
But one point completely changed the course of the match.
Leading 5-1 in the first set, Mladenovic found herself at set point and traded a couple of backhands before disguising a beautifully hit drop shot. Siegemund would take off at full speed and lunge at the ball, barely getting it over. Mladenovic would get to it but would touch the net to lose the point.
The Frenchwoman was clearly upset but not because she touched the net: Siegemund's double bounce was not called.
Although, this was one of six set points for Mladenovic, it would still be the turning point in her Roland Garros opener. The world No. 44 would see the first set slip from her hands as she lost six consecutive games, and then lost, 7-5, 6-3.
"That point that everyone is speaking about, it's definitely unfortunate for her but she had six other set points," Siegemund told press. "I think there is a lot more room to close the set. But if you want to jump on that one, you know, go ahead."
Laura Siegemund saved seven points to win the first set, 7-5, over Kiki Mladenovic, but did the German *truly* earn the comeback?— TENNIS (@Tennis) September 29, 2020
A missed call and lack of sportsmanship would suggest otherwise.
Passport to #RolandGarros // https://t.co/wJ0wjjpH1b pic.twitter.com/hKWdfZaz2W
"Well, it did affect. I really tried to stay calm, though, and not try to complain much, because it was a brief complaint, because in these kind of situations, you know that they are bad, they made a mistake, there is nothing you can do about it," Mladenovic told press.
The 27-year-old isn't frustrated with Siegemund—she directed her frustrations at the chair umpire.
"I didn't expect her to do [call it]," Mladenovic said. "But if she would have done it, she would have all my respect and be super-fair play... But she's not the one responsible. I think the chair umpire is the one that should be really focused on that call.
"It was just unlucky for me that the chair umpire didn't do her job."
Siegemund told press that knew it was close, but she relied on the umpire who technically has the best seat in the house to make the call.
"If in that call, I'm coming running full speed, if in that call I say, oh, it was a double bounce, and later I see on the video it was not, I would be angry at myself," Siegemund said.
Siegemund said she didn't think about the point that much. Instead she focused on fighting for every point and pointed out Mladenovic had other opportunities to close out the set.
Instead, the 32-year-old upped her game and that's what matters most to her, not the video replay circulating all over Twitter.
"I just changed definitely some things in my game," Siegemund said. "I was missing less. I was playing more the way I wanted to start out with right away. Started to be more and more happy."
Siegemund will next face the winner between Julia Gorges and Alison Riske.