World No. 8 Kiki Bertens, overcoming Italian Sara Errani after more than three hours of fighting, was only able to leave the No. 14 court in a wheelchair, her body paralyzed and crippled with cramps, second round of Roland-Garros on Wednesday.
Bertens even dismissed a match point 6 to 5 in the deciding set, before pocketing it 9 games to 7 (7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 9-7) and collapsing down.
Thighs, arms, and even fingers: the whole body of the Dutchwoman seemed to make her suffer in her chair on the court, where she took refuge after having imposed herself at the end of the effort.
Neither the doctor's intervention nor the massages and ice packs provided by the physiotherapist visibly relieved her.
So it was in a wheelchair, and letting out a last cry of pain, that she ended up being evacuated from the field, long minutes after her victory.
The seeded N.5 was "much better" a few hours later at a press conference.
"I don't know what it was exactly," she explained after 45 minutes of treatment.
"My cramps stopped after 30 minutes."
"I was not feeling well, I had cramps as everyone could see, but it was strange because I did not feel tired and I was sweating a lot, I was cold", again said the Dutch.
Errani, who had made fun of his opponent's physical problems after a point by imitating him limping, left the court with a curse.
"During the points, she had no problem, it was only from point to point" that Bertens was hurting, estimated the Italian, criticizing her for exaggerating and giving her the wrong role.
"I don't like people laughing at me. (...) At one point she was injured, at another she was running like a rabbit," said the finalist of the 2012 edition.
Errani also stood out during the match for her recurring service difficulties, which notably prevented her from concluding while serving for the match.
"I have had a lot of problems with this over the past two years," she admitted.
© 2020 AFP