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.

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Marcos Giron overcomes Jaume Munar at the Sofia Open




Marcos Giron converted his 10th match point in a 20-minute final game to overcome Jaume Munar 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 6-4 in almost three hours at the Sofia Open. Giron claimed his seventh win in his past ten matches. 


The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break, where Giron edged Munar 7-2 with two mini-breaks. Munar broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Giron fended  off three break points in the 10th game before serving out the match in the 10th game of the decider. The US player saved all five break points he faced and converted three of his break point chances  

“The first set was close. I feel like I had chances, but he played better than me in the tie-break. I thought I did a great job resetting and adjusting in the second set, and then in the third set I was able to get the break early, but he kept holding on. I am happy to get through that, it was a battle. That might be the most match points I have ever had”, said Giron. 

Giron set up a second round match against Alex De Minaur. In their previous head-to-head match Giron beat De Minaur 7-5 7-6 (7-5). 

Bulgarian wild card Dimitar Kuzmanov came back from one set down to beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 after 3 hours and 5 minutes. 

Musetti went down 0-3 but he pulled the break back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Musetti broke in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, but he dropped his serve in the tenth game. Musetti went up a 4-0 lead in the tie-break with two mini-breaks. He earned five set points at 6-1. Kuzmanov saved three set points, but Musetti converted his fourth chance to win the tie-break 7-4. 

Musetti missed six break points in three return games in the second set. The Italian Next Gen player saved two break points at 5-5. Kuzmanov rallied from 0-2 down to win the tie-break 7-3. Kuzmanov won 12 points from 2-2 in the third set to cruise through to a 6-3 lead. 

John Millman beat Mikael Ymer 6-2 6-4 in their first head-to-head match. Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the opening set. Millman broke serve at love in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The second set started with three consecutive breaks, as Ymer took a 2-1 lead. Millman came back from 2-4 down by winning four consecutive games to close out the second set 6-4. “At this level every match is a bit of a battle, but I was really happy with how I played here in my first match. Getting used to the conditions is so important and right from the start I thought I set a really good level”, said Millman.

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Brandon Nakashima rallies from one set down to beat Fabio Fognini in San Diego




US Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima came back from one set down to beat former world number 9 Fabio Fognini 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 7-5 at the San Diego Open. Nakashima set up a second round match against Andrey Rublev. 


Nakashima won 80% of his first serve points, including hit eight aces, and won 63% of second serves. 

Fognini went up a 2-0 lead with a break, but Nakashima broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Fognini saved a break point in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3 and two match points n the 10th game but Nakashima broke serve at 15 in the 12h game to close out the third set 7-5. 

“I did not think I played bad in the first set. He just played a bit better at and that’s all it takes against a player like that, but luckily I was able to regroup quickly, get a break in the first game of the second set and tried to ride the momentum from there”, said Nakashima. 

Aslan Karatsev won 84% of his first set points and did not face a break point in his 6-1 7-5 win over Federico Delbonis. Karatsev broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the first set 6-1. Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games. Karatsev earned his second break in the 11th game on the fourth deuce to win the second set 7-5. Karatsev is bidding for his second ATP Tour level title after winning in Dubai last March. The Russian player will face either Metz Moselle Open champion Hubert Hurkacz or Australian qualifier Alex Bolt.

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International Tennis Hall Of Fame To Mark Emma Raducanu’s US Open Win

The teenager has donated some of her clothing to the ITHF collection.




2021 US Open Women's Singles Champion Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open, Saturday, Sep. 11, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

The outfit worn by Emma Raducanu during her historic run at the US Open has a new home after the tennis star agreed to donate it to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport.


Raducanu stunned the tennis world in New York by becoming the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title. The 18-year-old defeated two top 20 players en route to the title and didn’t drop a set in 10 matches played. She is the first British woman to win a major since Virginia Wade in 1977 and the first in history to win a Grand Slam on what was only her second main draw appearance.

To celebrate Raducanu’s rapid rise in the sport, her Nike Heritage classic style V-neck red tank top with contrast trims and a blue skirt with red pleats will be put on display in the Tennis Hall of Fame’s museum in Rhode Island.

“A legendary run: preserved,” the Tennis Hall of Fame tweeted.
“Thank you, @EmmaRaducanu, for donating your memorable #USOpen outfit to the ITHF collection!”

Raducanu is currently at a ranking high of 22nd in the world which is more than 300 places higher than the position she was in at the start of the year. She is currently on a search for a new coach after parting ways with Andrew Richardson. Raducanu says she wants to collaborate with somebody who has more experience of the WTA Tour.

In the wake of her US Open success, there have been suggestions that the rising star could be among the favourites to win the Australian Open which will take place in January. Coincidentally next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the last time a British woman won the tournament. However, Raducanu has dismissed such suggestions.

“If I’m seeded, then I’m seeded, but favourite? I think one tournament, you can’t really say I’m a favourite. I’m still so new to everything.” She said during a recent LTA event celebrating British winners of the US Open.
“I just feel like I’m learning and absorbing all the knowledge that I’m gaining like a sponge and soaking it all in.
“That’s what I really want to do. I’m not focused on results, I’m focused on how much I can learn because that’s what’s really going to drive me forward.”

Raducanu has pulled out of this week’s Chicago Fall Tennis Classic but she is expected to return to action next week in Indian Wells.

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