French Open 2021 Women’s Final: Early Predictions for Krejcikova at Wimbledon
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Barbora Krejcikova hung on during the final set to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-4 in the French Open final Saturday to take her place in Grand Slam singles history with her first title in just her fifth major appearance.
The unseeded Czech professional tennis player is now the reigning “Queen of Paris” and the tournament’s eighth different champion in eight years.
Krejcikova had a bit of history on her side after winning the first set 6-1. Seventeen of the last 19 finals winners won the opening set.
Pavlyuchenkova fought valiantly through a left leg injury in the deciding set, adding adversity to an already pressure-packed final, but couldn’t go the distance against the determined Krejcikova.
Despite having won several doubles slams, the 25-year old completed one of the most unlikely runs to a singles Grand Slam title, defeating Maria Sakkari in the semifinal to face the 31st-seeded Pavlyuchenkova.
And she did it in front of fellow Czech and idol Martina Navratilova, who was on hand at the legendary clay courts of Roland Garros.
“I just want to thank everyone for coming today and cheering for us,” Krejcikova told the crowd. “The atmosphere was amazing. I was super happy that I was able to enjoy it. I am just really happy. I just thank Martina Navratilova and all the others and my team and my coach and everyone back home. It’s hard to put words together. l I cannot believe that I won a grand slam.
“I was going though a had tome when Jana Novotna passed her away, Pretty much her last words to me were “just enjoy and try to win a grand slam. Pretty much this whole thing is because she is looking down. She was such an inspiration. I just really miss her and hope she is happy right now. I am extremely happy.”
Next up for Krejcikova is chase for the doubles title.
With a win on Sunday, she can become the first woman to win a singles and doubles title at the French Open since Mary Pierce did it in 2000.
Krejcikova will also look to bring her winning ways to Wimbledon in July.
But unlike the French Open, which saw Serena Williams get upset in the fourth round by 21-year-old Elena Rybakina and Naomi Osaka withdraw after citing concerns for her mental health, the field at tennis’ premier event will be very challenging.
Williams is on the decline, but she has dominated the signature grass courts at Wimbledon to win a record seven titles and could be one of the biggest obstacles to any contender.
Osaka has pulled out of bett1open in Berlin, Germany, a WTA 500 grass-court event that normally serves as a tune-up for Wimbledon.
If the No. 2-ranked player in the world is absent, it does leave the door a little bit more open for Krejcikova and others.
Still, Ashleigh Barty, who had to pull the plug on her run at the French Open due to a left hip injury, will be in the field and the No. 1-ranked player is hungrily searching for her first win in London.
While the win at the French Open could be the springboard for big things to come for Krejcikova, it won’t start at Wimbledon.
The young Czech player does have a game for all surfaces, which could translate well to the grass, but so does Barty, who has the speed and quickness that separates her from the field.
With Osaka likely out, it should be the Barty Show. She’ll be out to avenge her pre-quarter finals loss to Alison Riske in 2019.
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