After a last huge set which lasted 84 minutes, Barbora Krejcikova qualified this Thursday for the Roland-Garros final, dominating Maria Sakkari (7-5, 4-6, 9-7). The Czech will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Barbora Krejcikova (33rd world) qualified this Thursday at Roland Garros for her first Grand Slam final by eliminating Maria Sakkari (18th) 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 in 3:18 (including 84 minutes for the only last set) and will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (32nd).
The Czech, who saved a match point, will try to win her first major title, the second of her career after Strasbourg 2021. Facing Sakkari, at the end of a stifling match where the tension at the end of the game was palpable, Krejcikova won on her fifth match point.
“I always wanted to fight this kind of fight”
“I always wanted to play this kind of game when I was young, when I played in juniors. I always wanted to fight this kind of fights. We both had our chances, we both had so well. Even if I had lost, I would be very proud of myself, because I fought, and that is the most important. To fight all the time, on the court but also in life, is the more important, ”commented the Czech.
With tears in her eyes, she dedicated this victorious fight to her compatriot Jana Novotna, victorious at Wimbledon in 1998 and who died in 2017 at the age of 49. Krejcikova is guaranteed to reach at least 22nd WTA rank on Monday, the best ranking of his career.
Roland-Garros 2018 winner in doubles with her compatriot Katerina Siniakova, Krejcikova reached the round of 16 in singles for the second consecutive year on Saturday, which to date remained her best Grand Slam result in five participations. This year again, she will play the semi-finals of the doubles on Friday with Siniakova. The last player to have reached the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros the same year was Lucie Safarova in 2015. But the last to have won them was Mary Pierce in 2000.
Sakkari, 25, seemed to take the game in hand but failed to achieve the break point that would have allowed him to lead 4-1 in the first set. And it was his opponent who pocketed the set. In the second, the Greek actually led 4-1 before giving up one of her face-offs, but keeping her advantage until the end.
A third set of 84 minutes
The third set was daunting. Sakkari quickly made the break and led 3-1. But Krejcikova saved a match point at 3-5 before breaking back to 5-5. At 8-7, she believed in the victory on the fourth match point announced too long by the linesman. But the referee corrected the announcement and replayed the point. It was only a postponement as the Czech converted her fifth match point.
Pavlyuchenkova also climbed for the first time in the final of Major by dismissing the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek (85th) 7-5, 6-3. The Russian was by far the most successful of the four quarter-finalists with her 12 WTA trophies.