Barbora Krejcikova Opens Up About Her Pre-Match Panic After Milestone French Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Barbora Krejcikova Opens Up About Her Pre-Match Panic After Milestone French Open Win

Following her fourth round win at Roland Garros, Krejcikova shed light on her personal battle with nerves.



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Czech underdog Barbora Krejcikova looked calm throughout her milestone win over Sloane Stephens at the French Open but looks can be deceiving.

The world No.33 crushed former finalist Stephens 6-2, 6-0, to reach the last eight at Roland Garros in what is only her fifth appearance in a Grand Slam main draw as a singles player. Krejcikova is also an established doubles specialist who has won two major titles, as well as reached the top of the standings. Against Stephens she dropped only five points behind her first serve and saved all three break points she face.

Ironically the biggest battle for the Czech seems to have taken place in the lead-up to her fourth round encounter. Krejcikova admitted that she woke up with a case of pre-match nerves which was so bad she was in tears and having to be consoled by her psychologist.

“I actually really don’t know what happened today. I just woke up and felt really bad,” she revelled in her press conference.
“I just felt really stressed. I don’t know why or what for. Half an hour before the match, I didn’t even want to step on the court because I just really felt really bad.”
“I had to, like, lock myself in the physio room and I had to talk to my psychologist. I was actually crying. I just felt really, really bad and I don’t know why.”

The experience of the 25-year-old sheds light on the mental pressure players face on the Tour, especially when it comes to playing in Grand Slams. The biggest tournaments of the sport which offer the most prize money and ranking points. Krejcikova says it was her psychologist who helped settle her down before heading to court.

We talk about it a lot and she told me this is something — if you can overcome this, what you feel right now, it’s going to be a huge win, and it doesn’t matter if you’re gonna win on the court or lose on the court because it’s going to be a personal win,” she said.
“I just went on court, and I know that it didn’t look like it, but I just felt really, really bad.’
“I was just happy that I started well. I think after the first point things got a little bit better, a little bit easier. Then I broke her (Stephens). I just felt like I can actually play her.’

Overcoming her demons in Paris, Krejcikova will play rising star Coco Gauff next who is another player dealing with the pressure of being in the limelight. The 17-year-old is the youngest woman to reach the last eight of a major in 15 years and is on the verge of cracking into the world’s top 20.

“I don’t know how I would approach this if I was 17 and I was actually doing this well. I think it would be just too much pressure for me and maybe I won’t be able to handle this,” she commented on Gauff’s meteoric rise.
“Everybody is different. Everybody is doing different things. She’s doing really good in singles. She is also a great doubles player.
“I think it really depends on the person, how they feel and how open they can be and how mature they are. Then it depends how well you can handle all this press, if you win or if you lose. It can be really nice and it can be really difficult.”

The subject of mental health in tennis has been highlighted at the French Open following the withdrawal of Naomi Osaka. Osaka issued a statement last week revealing that she has been battling with depression and social anxiety since 2018. She is currently taking a break from the sport.

Krejcikova will play Gauff on Wednesday.


Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon



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It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.


The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.


Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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Jasmine Paolini’s Wimbledon Run Hailed By Italian Prime Minister



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The Prime Minister of Italy has praised Jasmine Paolini for lighting up the hearts of others during her Wimbledon run. 

Paolini missed out on her first Grand Slam title to Barbora Krejcikova, who prevailed in three sets to capture her second major trophy. Despite her defeat, she has made history at the tournament by becoming the first female player from her country to reach the final. Until this year, she had never won a Tour-level main draw match on the grass. 

Whilst disappointed about missing out on the biggest title of her career, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni posted a tribute to Paolini on social media just moments after the final had concluded.

“Proud of Jasmine Paolini,” The Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) quotes Meloni as saying. 

“The first Italian tennis player to reach the final of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament. 

“Despite the defeat, you lit up the hearts of the Italian people, succeeding in conveying grit and passion to all of us who supported you”. 

Paolini is the first player ranked outside the top five to reach the final of both Wimbledon and the French Open within the same year since the ranking system was introduced in 1975. She is also only the fourth female player in the Open Era to have reached her first two Grand Slam finals in the same year at Roland Garros and Wimbledon after Chris Evert (1973), Olga Morozova (1974) and Steffi Graf (1987). 

Should she win three or more matches at the US Open later this year, she will also set a new Open Era record for the most Grand Slam wins achieved by an Italian female player in a single season. 

“The last two months have been crazy for me. I want to thank my team, and my family. They always support me and I wouldn’t be here without them. The crowd have been amazing. I received a lot of support. Just incredible to feel the love from them, I enjoy it so much.” Paolini said following her Wimbledon defeat. 

The 28-year-old will rise to a ranking high of No.3 on Monday. 

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