Krejcikova wins the French title Open, which is Novotna’s triumph

PARIS: Barbor Krejcikova was the first Czech woman in 40 years to conquer Roland Garros at the French Open on Saturday to defeat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and to dedicate her win to Jana Newton, a former Wimbledon champion, who passed away 4 years ago

Krejcikova, ranked 33 in the world and playing just her fifth main draw in a Slams singles event, triumphed 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 for a second career title.

The 25-year-old imitates fellow countryman Hana Mandlikova, who won the trophy in 1981 in Paris.

The 25-year-old Krejci­kova paid an emotional tribute to her mentor Novotna who died of cancer at the age of 49 in 2017.

“It’s difficult to put words into it. Krejcikova said he was still outside the top 100 when the 2020 French Open took place last October, but I cannot believe that I have just won a Grand Clash. “To Jana before she died, I spent a lot of time. I was ‘joy tennis and try and win Grand Slam’ in her last words.

“I know she is looking after me. It’s all pretty much because she’s cared for me. I had the opportunity to meet her. It was incredible. She’s been so inspired. She is really pleased I miss her and I hope she is really happy.”

Krejcikova, who can also win a third Grand Slam women’s doubles title on Sunday with partner Katerina Siniakova, was presented with the trophy by Czech-born Martina Navratilova who won two French Opens as an American citizen.

On Saturday as she was the sixth successive first-time major winner of Paris, Krejčičkova is going to rise to number 15 in the world.

In her first Slam Final in the 52nd attempt, Pavlyuchenkova tried to become the three oldest Major’s winner for the first time.

“Since I was a small kid and I am lost for words now I was preparing a speech for that moment,” the 29-year old said. “Thanks a lot to my friends from all over the world who came together here for a match—perhaps they thought that was my unique opportunity! “To Barbora, Congrat filling up. You play singles and doubles, I don’t know how. On the final point, I was dead.”

In a nervy start to the final, Krejcikova was broken in the first game, serving up two double faults.

The Russian, however, could not take advantage and dropped the next six games, as his Czech opponent took three breaks and took the opener in half an hour.

Hitting 13 winners to the Russian’s seven; Krezhčić was rewarded for her bold attack.

The most well composed player in the second set was Pavlyuchenkova, who debuted in Slam again in 2007 and spanned 5-1.

The Russians simply held back on the finale with a medical timeout of 5-2, during which she saw the Haribo rubber bears raging.

In this decision, in the third and fourth games, players exchanged their breaks, and the Czech ran to love 4-3 in the back of a rally in 10-shot.

Pavlyuchenkova saved two championship points in the ninth game and a third in the 10th but Krejcikova became champion on the fourth when the Russian hit long.

Both women capitalised on a draw in which the top seeds fell and just kept falling.

World number one and 2019 champion Ashleigh Barty hobbled out in the second round.

After 1 game, World No. 2, Naomi Osaka withdrew, while 2018 Simona Halep was never even able to get here in Paris. Serena Williams was knocked out in 4th round.

Zainab Murtaza

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