French Open 2021: Remarkable maiden Slam for Barbora Krejcikova | Tennis News – Eagles Vine

Barbora Krejcikova threw her head back and smiled before blowing kisses skywards. The 25-year-old, the world No.33, paid a moving tribute to Jana Novotna, her mentor, who lost her battle with cancer four years ago. Krejcikova was with the Czech champion in her final days. “Literally her last words to me was ‘just enjoy, win a Grand Slam’”, she said, adding, “For the last two weeks, I felt she has been looking down on me. All this happened because of her.”
Krejcikova, who edged out the injured Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in just under two-hours to clinch her first major singles crown, was fittingly presented with the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen by Czech-born American Martina Navratilova. Krejcikova, cheered on by compatriot Jan Kodes, is the first Czech woman after Hana Mandlikova, in 1981, (playing for the former Czechoslovakia) to win the French Open.

Krejcikova got off to a good start, she was broken in the opening game of the match, but won six straight games to seal the set. Pavlyuchenkova, who turns 30 in three weeks, warded off a breakpoint in the opening game of the second set to hold serve for the first time and stall the run of games in Krejcikova’s favour.

The Russian, the world No.32, who started using the court like a canvas, every inch of which she wanted to own — went for the lines, threw in drop shots and changed the pace of play – to work her way back into the match. Pavlyuchenkova led 3-0 and then 4-1 before breaking again in the sixth game. When serving to level set scores, Krejcikova, whose most dominant expression on the court is the sting in her strokes, broke for 2-5.

The 29-year-old called for the trainer at the changeover to attend to a groin strain (left leg). Pavlyuchenkova, who was clutching her leg between points, said she was “struggling to serve”. When she took the court, her left leg heavily strapped, the Russian broke her 25-year-old opponent, closing out on her second set point with a backhand winner.

Krejcikova, on an 11-match win streak, regained the fluency on her angled ground game, breaking the Russian at love in the seventh game of the decider. The Russian responded by saving two championship points in the ninth game, forcing the Czech to serve it out.
Krejcikova has claimed the singles crown three years after becoming the Roland Garros doubles champion

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