Krejcikova On Success: ‘Now I Can Just Improve’

Barbora Krejcikova (photo: Corinne Dubreuil/FFT)

PARIS/WASHINGTON, June 14, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

After Barbora Krejcikova won her first Grand Slam singles title, unseeded and coming from out of nowhere to capture the 2021 French Open women’s championship, the rising star from the Czech Republic had some time to reflect about her achievement when she sat for her post-match press conference early Saturday evening.

“It’s a big achievement that nobody really expected, not even me,” Krejcikova admitted. “I just want to be me. I just don’t want to change. I just want to still be me.

“I’m not planning to change, not planning to do anything different. I’m just planning to work hard again. This is such a big motivation to just work hard, enjoy this journey, enjoy tennis and everything.”

As Krejcikova, 25, basks in the spotlight of her successful Paris fortnight, in which she also won the Roland-Garros women’s doubles title with longtime doubles partner Katerina Siniakova, she is now ranked World No. 15 in singles, a rise of 18 spots, and is also the No. 1 doubles player in the world. She is part of the top-ranked team with Siniakova, also from the Czech Republic.

“Yeah, I guess a lot of things [are] going to change,” said Krejcikova, who lives in the small town of Ivančice, near Brno, in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic. “For me, I’m just going to still be the little girl from my city, from my little city, who started on the tennis wall. Probably, nothing’s going to change.”

At home, Krejcikova likes to spend time with her family – her parents and two brothers, one who has kids. She likes being an aunt, loves hanging out with friends, makes a point to go talk to her first tennis coach. Among other leisurely pursuits, she enjoys watching movies and sewing. “It keeps me really, really calm. It’s actually something fun for me to do,” she said.

“I don’t know. When I’m back home, I like to help my parents in the garden. I like good food. That’s something when I have the time, I really like to go for a nice steak.”

After Krejcikova and Siniakova won their third major doubles title Sunday afternoon, Krejcikova was asked in press how the winners planned to celebrate. “I think we are going to have a dinner together this evening. We will have a little glass of champagne,” she said.

Soon, it will be time to play Wimbledon, although Krejcikova’s expectations will be low because she’s not very accomplished as a grass-court player. She will take a 25-8 win-loss record for this season into the grass-court season.

“I just want to go back home. I just really have to relax,” she said. “I have to spend some time with my family. After that, just start to work again.

“Right now, after all of this happened, the last two weeks – last two days – I feel really relieved and relaxed. I just know from now on I can really enjoy because I have pretty much achieved everything I really wanted. Now, I can just improve, that’s the only thing I can do, just improve.”

Konta wins Nottingham grass-court title

After twice being a finalist but not a titlist, Johanna Konta has won the Viking Open Nottingham, a WTA 250-series grass-court tournament which concluded Sunday in Nottingham, Great Britain.

The No. 1 seed from Great Britain, ranked 30th, Konta defeated 32nd-ranked and No. 4 seed Zhang Shuai of China, 6-2, 6-1 to win the fourth WTA singles title of her career and first on grass.

“I feel very grateful, very fortunate for the match I played today, and also very fortunate for the matches I played throughout the week to put myself into a position to even be playing for the title,” Konta said after her title victory, quoted by the WTA website It was her first tour victory since winning the 2017 Miami Open. “To be back in the final, it’s a privilege, and I feel very lucky and I’m really pleased.”

En route to winning the Nottingham title, Konta defeated qualifier Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove, qualifier Katerina Kozlova, No. 8 seed Alison Van Uytvanck, and No. 15 seed Nina Stojanovic.

The doubles title was won by No. 3 seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan, who beat No. 2 seeds Caroline Dolehide of the United States and Storm Sanders of Australia, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 10-8.

• The WTA’s grass-court season leading up to the Wimbledon Championships, which begins in two weeks, continues this week with a 500-series tournament in Berlin, Germany, the Bett1Open, which features eight Top 20 players including World No. 4 and top seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. Also, there’s a 250-series event in Birmingham, Great Britain, the Viking Classic Birmingham, in which World No. 15 Elise Mertens of Belgium is the top seed.

Krejcikova breaks into Top 20 with French Open title

The WTA Rankings for the week of June 14 have been released on the tour’s website, reflecting the French Open results, and Roland-Garros singles and doubles champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic is a big beneficiary of a French Open bump.

In singles, Krejcikova has broken into the Top 20 at No. 15, a jump of 18 places from No. 33. Also, she is the new World No. 1 in doubles followed by her longtime doubles partner Katerina Siniakova, who is No. 2.

Roland-Garros runner up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia also cracked the Top 20 at No. 19, an improvement of 13 spots.

Rod Laver congratulates both Roland-Garros champions

What they’re tweeting

“Quotable …”

Stefanos Tsitsipas, during his press conference following his five-set loss to Novak Djokovic in the French Open men’s championship: “What I learned today is that no matter what, in order for the match to be finished, you have to win three sets and not two Two sets doesn’t really mean anything. It’s still one away of winning the entire match.”

What they’re writing

Christopher Clarey, New York Times tennis correspondent, on Youth still has to wait: “It felt like Greece’s day of destiny at Roland Garros but you don’t have Djokovic where you want him until you are holding up the big trophy.”

What they’re sharing on social media

Novak Djokovic / Merci beaucoup

Barbora Krejcikova /Vítězky