Who is Barbora Krejcikova? Five Things To Know About The New French Open Champion - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Who is Barbora Krejcikova? Five Things To Know About The New French Open Champion

Find out more about the multiple doubles champion who was once trained by the late Jana Novotna.

Avatar

Published

on

A month ago Barbora Krejcikova was never considered to be a contender for a major title and her success as a singles player had been rather modest.

 

Then at the French Open the Czech stunned the women’s field by winning the title in what was a fairytale journey for the 25-year-old. En route to the title match she defeated seeded players Ekaterina Alexandrova (R2), Elina Svitolina (R3), Coco Gauff (QF) and Maria Sakkari (SF). Then in a nerve-stricken final she dismissed another seed in the shape of Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

Krejcikova has made headline news worldwide following her triumph at one of tennis’ biggest tournaments but how surprised should the sport be about her success?

Here are five things to know about Krejcikova.

1.It is not the first time she has triumphed at a Grand Slam

Prior to the start of the French Open Krejcikova was not ranked among the contenders to win. It was only the fifth time she has played in the main draw of a major as a singles player and she had only won one tournament title in her career which was in Strasbourg last month.

However, the Czech knows what it is like to win the big titles as she is an established doubles player who is on the verge of returning back to the No.1 spot. She has won eight WTA doubles trophies and seven of those were with compatriot Katerina Siniakova. Back in 2018 the Czech duo triumphed at both the French Open and Wimbledon. Furthermore, Krejcikova has won the Australian Open mixed doubles title three years in a row (2019-2021).

Krejcikova is also playing in the women’s doubles final at Roland Garros this year. Should she win, she would become the first player to achieve the double since Mary Pierce back in 2000.

2. A slice of Czech history

The Czech Republic is known for producing top players such as Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Martina Navratilova* and Hana Mandlikova. However, Krejcikova’s success in Paris is the first time a player representing Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic has won the title since 1981. The year when Mandlikova won. It is only the second time in the Open Era (since 1968) a woman representing the Czech flag has won the title.

Krejcikova is also only the third player in history to have won the women’s French Open title whilst unseeded after Iga Swiatek (2020) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017).

*(Navratilova won her titles after switching allegiance to America).

3.The meteoric rise in rankings

Krejcikova made her official appearance in the WTA rankings back in 2011 at the age of 15. However, it wasn’t until last October that she broke into the world’s top 100 for the first time in her career. Since then she has continued to surge up the rankings by breaking into the top 40 in March. Now on a 12-match winning streak she will rise to a career high of 15th when the standings are updated on Monday. An increase of 18 places compared to where she was ranked prior to the start of the French Open.

image via wtatennis.com

4.The first time she has beaten a top 10 player was less than two months ago

Amid her status of an emerging threat on the women’s Tour, the 25-year-old had only ever defeated a top 10 player twice. Her first win was over Sofia Kenin at the 2021 Italian Open where she prevailed 6-1, 6-4. She followed up on that at the French Open when she upset Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.

Krejcikova is 0-7 against players who are former world No.1s – losing to Garbine Muguruza, Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka once. She has also suffered multiple losses to Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova.

5.The Novotna influence

The story of how Krejcikova started to work with former tennis great Jana Novotna sounds like a movie script. She had read that the former Wimbledon champion was based in a town nearby to her. So as a young player with her parents she turned up to Novotna’s house asking for advice out of the blue.

“When I went there for the very first time I was nervous because she was such an amazing person, such a big tennis player, big athlete and everything. She was always just very nice, very warm. She wasn’t acting like she won so many titles, that she’s somebody special. She’s always acting like a normal person,” Krejcikova recounts.

The original goal was to seek guidance on how to switch from junior to professional tennis and if she should explore the world of college tennis. However, Novotna was more than willing to offer advice and ended up becoming Krejcikova’s coach until 2016 when she was forced to stop due to deteriorating health. Sadly a year later Novotna died at the age of 49 following a battle with cancer.

“I spent a lot of time with Jana before she died. Her last words to me were ‘enjoy tennis and try and win a Grand Slam’. I know she’s looking after me. All this is pretty much because she is looking after me.“

Latest news

Former Australian Davis Cup Players Slam Organisers Over Reported Move To Abu Dhabi

Todd Woodbridge and Sam Groth has hit out at the rumoured changes.

Avatar

Published

on

TORINO, ITALY - NOVEMBER 29: Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2021 at Pala Alpitour on November 29, 2021 in Torino, Italy. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

The most successful Australian doubles player in Davis Cup history has said he doesn’t believe the historic team event will still be going in five years time.

 

Todd Woodbridge, who played in 32 Davis Cup ties during his career, has called for the tennis administrators who approved changes to be made to the event to resign from their positions. In 2018 at the International Tennis Federation’s ATM, officials voted in favour of transforming the event into a weeklong finals. The changes are being overseen by investment firm Kosmos who has pledged to invest $3bn over a 25-year period.

This year’s ATP Finals is taking place across three cities in Europe with the final being held in Madrid for the second time in a row. However, it is understood that Kosmos will reveal their plans to the ITF this week to move the event to Abu Dhabi. According to The Telegraph, Kosmos are set to purpose the group stages to be held in Europe with the eight qualified teams then having to travel to Abu Dhabi. It is reported that the deal to move the event to the Middle East, which Kosmos founder Gerald Pique reportedly struck himself, is the only ‘viable option’ being presented. Although there are concerns from some.

Reacting to the development, Woodbridge has blasted the move during an interview with Wide World of Sports. The former world No.1 doubles player has accused Kosmos of destroying the competition and not paying any consideration to its history.

There is an announcement coming in the next few days that it (the Davis Cup Finals) will be moved to Abu Dhabi. It will be a 14 day event finishing in mid December. What player in their right mind is going to go to Abu Dhabi and give themselves two weeks off before starting the new season?” Woodbridge commented.
“The people who are making these decisions really need to look at themselves because this event I don’t think will be with us in five year times.”

Joining Woodbridge in his opposition is former world No.53 Sam Groth who claims that players are being attracted to play the event due to ‘payment on the backside.’ He has also accused world No.1 Novak Djokovic of double standards.

I can tell you the sort of players who are going to show up to a 14-day event in Abu Dhabi and it is the ones that are currently defending the event that I’m sure are having some payment on the backside to support what is now called the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals,” said Groth.
“This is not the Davis Cup but the players who are going to turn up are exactly like Novak Djokovic up who has refuted Lleyton’s comments about the tournament needing a change, it needs to be adjusted and needs to be played in different cities. I don’t have facts on this but I believe there is something going on with this group (Kosmos) is spending a lot of money and they have big financial backers in Abu Dhabi. Also for a guy who wants a shorter season and to support something that goes into mid December it is very contradictory.”

The International Tennis Federation will formally announce the new location of the Davis Cup Finals on Sunday in what will be a joint media presentation with Kosmos.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Croatia beats Italy to book semifinal spot in the Davis Cup

Avatar

Published

on

Croatia upset Italy 2-1 in the quarter finals of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals at the Pala Alpitour in Turin to reach the semifinal, as Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic beat Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-4 in the decisive double match. 

 

Borna Gojo gave Croatia an early 1-0 lead over Italy in the quarter finals of the Davis Cup quarter finals at the Pala Alpitour in Turin after his 7-6 (7-2) 2-6 6-2 win against Lorenzo Sonego after 2 hours and 19 minutes. 

Sonego went up a 4-1 lead with a break in the fourth game, but he did not convert a double break point in the sixth game. Gojo broke back at 30 in the seventh game. The Croatian player won five consecutive points from 2-2 to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Sonego went up a 4-0 lead with a double break in the second set. The world number 27 player saved three break-back points. He held serve in the seventh game with two aces to seal the set 6-2. 

Gojo earned a break in the fourth game of the third set to take a 3-1 lead and held serve for 4-1. Sonego earned two break-back points in the seventh game, but Gojo saved them with a backhand volley and a first serve. The world number 279 held serve with an ace to open up a 5-2 lead and sealed the decisive set 6-2 with his second break.

“It feels amazing. We knew we had to get one point from the two singles.The support was unbelievable. They are so loud. Some of my best friends and family are here and I want to thank them with all my heart for comng”, said Gojo. 

Jannik Sinner came back from one set down to edge Marin Cilic 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 drawing level the tie to 1-1. 

Cilic rallied from 15-40 down to break serve on his second opportunity in the fourth game of the opening set. Both players held their next service games. Cilic served out the first set 6-3 in the ninth game after recovering from 0-30 down.

Sinner battled back from a set and a break down. Cilic served for the match when he was leading 5-4 in the second set. Sinner fought back from the brink, breaking to love before winning the tie-break 7-4. 

Sinner broke serve to love at the start of the third set. Cilic converted his third break-back point in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players went on serve until the seventh game, when Sinner earned his second break to take a 4-3 lead. The Italian star held his serve before earning two match points at 5-3. Cilic saved the first chance with a forehand inside-out. Sinner broke serve on his second match point.  

“The most important thing is that we are are still here. It is the most important amazing feeling. We will try to do the best in the doubles. I just tried to stay there. It was not easy trying to break him for the match, but I just tried my best”, said Sinner. 

Olympic champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic beat Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-4 after 1 hour and 20 minutes to secure Croatia a spot in the semifinals. 

The Croatian team earned the first break in the fourth game at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Sinner and Fognini saved five set points to hold serve at deuce in the eighth game. Mektic and Pavic did not face any break points to close out the first set 6-3 after 38 minutes. 

The Italian team saved a break point in the third game of the second set. Croatia earned the break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 after Fognini made a double fault and did not face a break point in their next service games to win the 42-minute second set 6-4 on their first match point, as Pavic fired an ace.  

Italy did not earn any break points, while Croatia converted two of their eight chances.

Croatia will face either Serbia or Kazakhstan in the semifinal in Madrid. 

“Honestly, it feels incredible. I don’s think anyone expected us to get this far and it feels amazing to be going in Madrid”, said Mektic. 

Croatia is bidding for a third Davis Cup title and the second in three editions after claiming this tournament in 2018. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

The Russian Tennis Federation scores come-back win over Spain to secure quarter final spot in the Davis Cup

Avatar

Published

on

Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev fought back from one set down to beat Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-2 6-4 in front of a capacity crowd at the Madrid Arena securing a spot in the quarter final for the Russian Tennis Federation in Group A at the Davis Cup by Rakuten. 

 

The Russian Tennis Federation set up a quarter final clash against Sweden. Spain has been eliminated and will not defend the title won in 2019. 

Spain earned the only break when Lopez hit a forehand return into the tramlines. The Spanish 40-year-old veteran player served out the first set 6-4 when Rublev hit a return long. 

The Russian team earned two breaks to win the second set 6-2. Karatsev earned the decisive break in the 10th game with a backhand winner down the line in the 10th game at 00:40 in the night. 

“We are really happy to be in the quarter finals. We are going to do our best to go further. Two years ago we were in the semifinals so we will see if we can do this result, but every player from usi s giving 100% so that’s the most important thing”, said Rublev. 

In the opening singles match Lopez came back from one set down to beat Rublev 2-6 6-3 6-4. Lopez hit 14 aces and won 82% of his first serve points. 

Rublev earned an early break in the first game and broke again to open up a 4-1 lead after two double faults in the first set. 

Lopez hit a crosscourt volley at 15-15 and broke serve to take a 4-2 lead. The Spaniard held serve after four deuces in a long seventh game to race out to a 5-2 lead. Lopez hit a huge ace out wide to close out the second set 6-3. Lopez went up a 2-1 lead with a break in the third game of the decisive set and held his next three service games. He did not convert two match points on Rublev’s serve at 5-3 and was forced to save a break point on his own serve, but he was able to hold serve at deuce with an unreturnable serve out wide. 

“This is over any espectation to be honest. For me it was already amazing to be here represening my country at 40 years old.  I did not expect to be the one playing the singles and I had to take the role. Playing against Andrey at this stage of my career in my home town, it’s over any expectations”, said Lopez. 

Danil Medvedev beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in just an hour and a half in the second singles match to draw level the tie to 1-1. Medvedev hit 14 winners and broke five times. 

Medvedev raced out to a 5-0 lead with three breaks. Carreno Busta pulled one of the breaks back in the sixth game and saved three break points to hold serve in the seventh game. Medvedev rallied from one break down with a break back in the fifth game. Medvedev broke for the second time to take a 5-3 lead. Carreno Busta converted his fourth break-back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Medvedev cruised through to a 5-0 lead with three mini-breaks. Carreno Busta saved two match pointsa at 6-3, but Medvedev sealed the tie-break 7-3 on his third opportunity. 

“Everybody is super happy, because that’s how we all are in the team, all five players. If I am not mistaken, we needed to win just one game to be through. Yet we won a match, and that’s all you need to know about us. We want to win, no matter it’s an exhibition match, a match that doesn’t count maybe for the tie, or an important match. Our goal is to win. It’s very important for the confidence of the team to win against such team as Spain. Even if they didn’t have their best line-up, they are playing at home, and to beat them means a lot”, said Medvedev. 

Serbia sets up quarter final over Germany

Two-time Roland Garros doubles champions Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat the Austrian team formed by Phillp Oswald and 2018 Australian Open doubles champion Oliver Marach 6-3 6-4 with a break in each set in Group F to secure a spot in the quarter finals for Germany in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals. 

Krawietz and Puetz won 82% of his first serve points and did not face a break point to beat Oswald and Marach in 85 minutes sealing a 2-1 win for Germany over Austria. The German team had beaten Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic in a crucial match against Serbia on Saturday. 

Germany will take on Great Britain in the quarter finals on Tuesday in a repeat of the match of the 2019 Davis Cup last eight match in Madrid. 

“I am not sure about being on top of the world but we are pretty happy right now and deservedly so. We deserve to be happy right now and to enjoy tonight. Tomorow we will start preparing for Great Britain”, said Puetz. 

Earlier world number 139 Jurij Rodionov beat Dominik Koepfer 6-1 7-5 in 87 minutes to give an early lead. Rodionov, who was making his first appearance in the Davis Cup, hit six aces and saved four of the five break points he faced. 

Rodionov broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. Rodionov went up a break to take a 2-1 lead. Koepfer, who beat Filip Krajinovic during Germany’s victory over Serbia on Saturday, broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4, but he was not able to convert two set points before Rodionov broke serve in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5.  

“Winning my first Davis Cup match is really a dream come true. It was one on the biggest goals in my career and it is always very special playing for my country and representing Austria in Davis Cup”, said Rodionov. 

Jan Lennard Struff hit eight aces to beat Dennis Nowak 7-5 6-4 in 74 minutes. Struff earned his first break in the opening game. Novak broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Struff earned a second break to win the first set 7-5. Struff broke once in the third game and held his next service games to win the second set 6-4. 

“I am very happy. It is tough as expected against Austria. Dennis is a good friend of mine, but I am very happy with my performance today. I played aggressively and I tried to put a pressure on Dennis from the beginning”, said Struff.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending