Reality rarely matches our tennis dreams, but Barbora Krijcikova The exciting Roland Garros race has surpassed even the wildest tennis fantasies.
World number 33 Kryjsikova fought off match point Maria Scari in a classic victory 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 – the longest French Open semi-final in Open Era history – to reach her first singles final at a Grand Slam in Paris.
It was Krichikova’s 11th consecutive victory on clay as she advanced to her first final on her first Grand Slam main draw appearance. She will face 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the singles final on Saturday.
The result left the hardworking and humble Czech in disbelief.
“When I was a kid, I grew up in a small town where we didn’t have such professional coaches or something. I never thought I would play professional,” Krijikova said. “I never imagined I would actually be a Grand Slam finalist. I don’t know. I don’t know.
“It seems, I mean, unbelievable. But I really don’t seem to believe it. I can’t believe it. Yeah, I can’t believe it’s actually happening. I can’t believe it.”
The former world number 1 doubles player went on to score the most massive singles win of her life when she came back to work Kryjsikova, and good friend Katerina Siniakova swept Magda Linate and Bernard Pera 6-1 6-2 today to advance to the Roland Garros doubles final where they play the 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the final.
Krejcikova aims to make history as the first woman to sweep the French Open singles and doubles titles since the Hall of Famer Marie Pierce did so in 2000 partnering former top seed Martina Hingis in the doubles.
Although this inspiring tour challenged Krezhikova’s dreams, it also affirmed the deep faith in her mentor, former coach and tennis champion, late Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna. Krigsikova still carries Novotna’s beliefs – and her words of wisdom – with her when she steps into court.
“Like every time before or after the match I feel like she’s there, she takes care of me,” Krijikova said of Novotna.
We caught up with Krejcikova in a Biofile interview where she recalls the key to her success, her toughest opponent, her favorite player to watch and how she met her mentor Jana Novotna.
status: The world number 33 and finalist at Roland Garros won the French Open and Wimbledon twice in 2018 and the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He achieved the world number one doubles ranking in 2018 and can reclaim the top spot in doubles by winning the Roland Garros title again.
Born in: December 18, 1995 in Brno, Czech Republic
First tennis memory: Tough question…Are you going to ask me all these tough questions [smiles]? First Anniversary… Well, I was young and just started attending tennis courts in my city. And I have a chance to start hitting the field. Because when I was young, I only had the chance to hit the wall.
Tennis inspiration: Well, when I was young, I loved the way Justine Henin was playing in that moment. But so far I would say Jana Novotna because I had the opportunity to spend time with her. For me the most inspiring years were when she was coaching me (18-21 years old).
Read the last book: Kind of a detective book. But I’m not really interested in books.
current car: I have a Czech brand, Skoda (blue).
The first famous tennis player you met or met: Jana Novotna. I wrote her a letter asking if she would help me in my career. She lived in a village near me. She traveled home with my parents and was walking her dog outside. I told her I was a young player looking for advice and she agreed to help me. She helped me for three years until I got sick.
Greatest career moment: Possibly a Grand Slam win (French Open and Wimbledon doubles in 2018 with Katharina Siniakova and Australian Open doubles in 2019 with Rajiv Ram).
The most painful moments: I can’t remember anyone now.
Favorite tournaments: I love the Australian Open.
Best tennis friends: I don’t have that many on the tour right now. But maybe my married partner (Katarina Sinyakova) since I spent a lot of time with her.
Funniest players encountered: …I do not know [laughs].
The fiercest competitors faced: The toughest competition… I will say Serena will be the highest. But I haven’t had a chance to play it yet [smiles].
Favorite sport outside of tennis: Any ball sport. I really love golf.
Three athletes you love to watch and follow: I follow Federer. I really like his game. I really like the game he plays. Then maybe some Czech athletes. I love watching ice hockey.
Why do you like playing tennis: I just love the game and I love to travel. I like to play tournaments. I like to play different players. I just love the game
Funny tennis memory: He was at the US Open two years ago. It was 5-3 in the third set, 30 all and I was playing point for match point. or breaking point. We played a long run. I hit my shot and I ended up under the judgment seat. Yes. I fell under there. I had big bruises. But I won the point. I had a backhand winner on the line. Then we got the match point and won the match. This was probably the funniest and most painful for me. We played the quarter-finals.