Barbora Krejcikova reached an important milestone in her career on Saturday as she came out victorious against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win the 2021 Roland Garros. It is the first singles Grand Slam title for the unseeded tennis player. Ahead of the game, Pavlyuchenkova was the clear favorite. The Russian is ranked 33rd in the world and had defeated Tamara Zidansek in the semi-final. Krejcikova had defeated 17th seed Maria Sakkari to reach the final of the tournament. She dedicated her victory to her late coach Jana Novotna who had passed away due to cancer in 2017. A Pavlyuchenkova backhand went out of play to hand the 25-year-old Czech her maiden singles Grand Slam victory.
“Pretty much her last words were just enjoy and just try to win a Grand Slam. And, I mean, I know that, from somewhere, she’s looking after me,” Krejcikova said after the match to the 5000 present at the Philippe-Chatrier.
“All of this that just happened, these two weeks, is pretty much because she is just looking after me from up there,” she said as she pointed her racket towards the sky. “It was amazing that I had a chance to meet her and that she was such an inspiration for me. I just really miss her. But I hope she’s happy right now. I’m extremely happy,” she concluded.
The match was a fairly tight affair, with Krejcikova winning 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. Both players scored two aces each, but the Czech conceded five double faults whereas Pavlyuchenkova conceded only one. Krejcikova’s win percentage on the first serve was 55%. Pavlyuchenkova’s was 49%. On the second serve, the 25-year-old had the advantage as well with an impressive 71% win percentage compared to the Russian’s 50%.
Krejcikova won six out of 14 break points whereas the 33rd seed won five out of 12. The Czech also won two more service games with eight than the Russian who managed to win six. The third set seemed like it could have maybe gone to a tie-breaker but Krejcikova played brilliantly to win her first singles Grand Slam title.
The 25-year-old will now attempt to become the first woman since Mary Pierce 21 years ago at the 2000 French Open to win both singles and doubles titles in the same edition of the tournament. She will team up with Katerina Siniakova to take on the team of Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Sunday.