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Meet Czech tennis player Barbora Krejcikova who is getting better with age

Barbora Krejcikova ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (Photo by Neeraj Murali)
Barbora Krejcikova ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (Photo by Neeraj Murali)

A four-time major winner in doubles, Krejcikova had never shown any traits of a Grand Slam singles champion even as she began conjuring impressive wins in 2020



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Mon 14 Feb 2022, 12:15 AM

Until 2019, Barbora Krejcikova was languishing in obscurity with a best year-end singles ranking of 126.

A four-time major winner in doubles, Krejcikova had never shown any traits of a Grand Slam singles champion even as she began conjuring impressive wins in 2020.

Then last year, Krejcikova stunned Grand Slam champions Jelena Ostapenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships before losing a nail-biting final to Garbine Muguruza.

A first final appearance at a WTA 1000 event gave her the wings as she flew past higher-ranked players to win the Internationaux de Strasbourg title, the maiden singles triumph of her career.

What followed next was the stuff of legends as Krejcikova’s giant-killing run earned her the first Grand Slam singles title of her career when she won the French Open last year.

Not just that, Krejcikova also won the doubles title with Katerina Siniakova to become the first woman since Mary Pierce to complete the singles-double sweep at Roland Garros.

For a player who broke into the top 100 of the WTA singles rankings only two years ago, Krejcikova is now among the best players on the planet as the Czech baseliner enters Dubai tennis with a world ranking as high as number three.

Krejcikova, who won the doubles title at the Australian Open last month, credits her mental maturity for the stunning turnaround in her singles career.

Barbora Krejcikova signing tennis balls ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (Photo by Neeraj Murali)
Barbora Krejcikova signing tennis balls ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (Photo by Neeraj Murali)

“I think a lot of things have changed. I think just everything, just getting more mature, getting older (smiling). Just playing more tennis, being more dedicated to the sport. Mentally (I have) improved a lot,” the 26-year-old Krejcikova told reporters ahead of this week’s Dubai tennis event.

“All these little things are showing the bigger picture right now. I think that’s why I improved this much, (that’s) why I am where I am.”

Krejcikova is now relishing the chance to play again in Dubai, a city where she began writing the new chapter of her singles career last year.

“I think last year was amazing. It was my very first 1000 where I got in the final,” she said.

“I remember I was playing a lot of tough games. I was playing slam champions and stuff. I was able to beat them. I got to the finals. That was an amazing achievement.

“I really like Dubai. I’m really looking forward to this year.”

Not content with her remarkable rise in the past 12 months, Krejcikova says she wants to keep improving as a player.

“There are still a lot of tournaments that I haven’t won yet. There are still a lot of players that are ahead of me right now,” she said.

“It’s just a lot of motivation. Like I see other players who are doing well, they are improving every single day. I want to improve with them and I want to get better than them. That’s the biggest motivation.”


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