Following the path of ‘Czech tennis legend’ teacher Novotna… ‘Doubles specialist’ Kreichkova wins women’s singles at French Open

Barbora Kreichkova holds up her trophy after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchchenkova in the women’s singles event at the 2021 French Open, which ended on the 13th. Paris = Shinhwa Yonhap News

Barbora Kreichkova (26, Czech Republic, 33rd in the world ranking) is a tennis player you may have heard of. This is because she was the women’s doubles champion twice at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2018, and also ranked number one in the world doubles ranking. However, it is also a very strange name to the public. As such, doubles is a neglected field in pro tennis compared to singles.

However, as of June 13, 2021, Kreichkova has become a name known to all tennis fans. It was thanks to her victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchchenkova (30, Russia, 32nd) 2-1 (6-1 2-6 6-4) in the French Open women’s singles final held at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. . After winning the first set with an aggressive offensive, the opponent allowed a counterattack in the second set, but at the end of the second set, Pavlyuchenkova called a medical time-out due to a pain in his left leg. In the end, after pushing the opponent from the middle of the third set, the victory came.

It was very meaningful because it was the victory that followed the path of his master. Kreichkova’s teacher, Jana Novotna, is a Czech tennis legend, who also succeeded in doubles and was also active in singles as well. Unfortunately, Novotna died of cancer in 2017 without seeing his student Daesung, but he left Kreichkova’s will to “go out and play tennis and try to win a major championship.” The following year, he won doubles consecutively at the French Open and Wimbledon, and from last year, he gradually climbed the rankings in singles and finally became the major champion. In particular, he achieved a feat four years earlier than his master, who achieved the only singles win at Wimbledon in 1998, when he was 30 years old. Kreichkova, who completed the teacher’s last wish with ‘Cheongchuleoram’, said, “My coach was always taking care of me somewhere in the sky. The coach will be happy in the sky,” he said, expressing his emotions of victory.

Kreichkova, who won the singles, still showed his ability in the doubles, which was originally his main event. In the women’s doubles final held 18 hours after the singles final was over, Katherina Siniakova (25, Czech Republic) and Iga Siviontec (20, Poland) and Bethany Mattik Sands (36, the United States) teamed up 2-0 ( 6-4 6-2) and won his third major doubles title. With this, Kreichkova became the first player to win the women’s singles and doubles titles in 21 years since Marie-Pierres (France) in 2000.

Reporter Pil-woong Seo

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