Czech Petra Kvitova still won in spite of choosing to go to Stuttgart without her regular entourage and also driving herself from Prague to the star-studded German clay court event.
The absence of coach Jiri Vanek and fitness trainer David Vydra did not stop the two-times Wimbledon champion from reaching the semi-finals there for the third time.
And the 29-year-old was more than pleased with herself on Friday as she rallied to beat Latvian seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova 2-6 6-2 6-3.
“I am very proud to have turned it around without Jiri,” the two-times Wimbledon champion said. “I am in contact with them, although it is a little different. But it is still me.”
The popular Kvitova has to find training partners and have her raquets strung herself, while also being seen warming up on her own in the parking lot of the Porsche Arena.
Kvitova said earlier in the week she has competed on her own and won tournaments before in this way.
“I have a friend here, so I’m not really alone. So, I’m not crying during the night,” she said.
“So, it’s good. I mean sometimes I like it to go by myself, to think by myself only and kind of fight with my thoughts on the court and off the court as well.”
The 29-year-old however also said she would not necessarily recommend this approach to young players, after it was suggested such a move could help them mature.
“Everybody is different. You need experience. When you are younger you need someone to help you,” she said.
Kvitova has after all gone through really difficult times, most notably a knife attack in her house in December 2016 which almost ended her career.
But she was back on court half a year later.
She is now ranked third in the world and again a serious contender for the top spot she first came close to in 2012.
Kvitova would have gone top had she beaten Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open final in January.
She also had a chance in Stuttgart which however Osaka ended by winning her first match Thursday.
A title in Sydney, runner-up spots in Melbourne and Dubai, and now a fourth semi-final in Stuttgart, against local star Angelique Kerber or tough Dutch Kiki Bertens, show something.
It is an indication of her good 2019 form.
“It is nice to be in the semi-finals again, but I haven’t been to the final yet,” she said.(dpa/NAN)