French Open: Barbora Krejcikova outlasts Maria Sakkari, enters final

Czech takes on Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the summit clash

By   |  Published: 11th Jun 2021  9:42 pm

Paris: Unseeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova pulled off a remarkable upset by outlasting No.17 seed Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 in a French Open women’s semifinal match to reach her first Grand Slam final on Thursday.

Barbora saved a match point at 5-3 in the third set and went on to win the titanic battle in three hours and 18 minutes.

Barbora will play first-time Grand Slam finalist No.31 seed Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who defeated world No.85 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes in an earlier semi-final encounter.

On an 11-match winning streak, Barbora needed five match points over two games. She duly subdued the challenge from the Greek player and improved to 3-0 in their head-to-head rivalry.

Earlier, Anastasia, 29, became the first woman to play more than 50 major tournaments before reaching a final, having made her Grand Slam debut as a 15-year-old wildcard entrant at the Wimbledon in 2007. Italian Roberta Vinci, who was the 2015 US Open runner-up in her 44th main draw, held the previous record. This tournament is the 52nd time that Anastasia has made the main draw of a Grand Slam event. Anastasia is the first Russian woman to advance to a Grand Slam final since 2015, when Maria Sharapova reached the title round of the Australian Open where she lost to Serena Williams of the US.

Barbora, who is No. 33 in the world at present was ranked 114 during last year’s French Open and had to play a Challenger tournament to prepare for it. The fourth round finish at Roland Garros eight months ago powered her career and after this tournament she will most surely break into the top 20 in singles rankings. “I actually think we both deserve to win because we played a really, really great match. But only one can win. I am really happy that it is me, that I am going to have another chance to play another match,” said Barbora after her win over Maria.

Looking ahead to the final against Anastasia, the Czech player said, “Anastasia, she is really good player, really experienced. She is in a final, she must be on a roll, playing well.”

“I just think it is going to be a lot of fun. I am just really going to enjoy it because I was never expecting to actually be this far during this tournament. I am just going to have fun and just going to enjoy and fight until the end.”

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