Unseeded women's player Barbora Krejcikova wins French Open to take her first Grand Slam singles title

·2 min read

A player formerly considered a doubles specialist has just won the French Open to claim her first ever singles Grand Slam.

Barbora Krejcikova won her first grand slam singles title Saturday when she defeated Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 at Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 25-year-old Czech player had formerly enjoyed success as a doubles player, winning five Grand Slams in doubles and mixed competition, but only last month recorded her first victory against a top-10 ranked player.

Krejcikova had been playing in only her fifth singles main draw at any Slam tournament.

"It's really hard to put words together right now, but I can’t believe what happened," she said. "I cannot believe that I actually won a Grand Slam."

Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova celebrates winning the women's final match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova celebrates winning the women's final match against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Krejcikova, however, will have the chance to add more hardware Sunday, when she'll play with doubles partner Katerina Siniakova in the final against Magda Linette and Bernarda Perra. If she does win another title, she will become the first woman to win titles in both singles and doubles play at Roland Garros in the same year since Mary Pierce did so in 2000.

Though some top draws like Naomi Osaka, who withdrew citing mental health concerns, were out of the picture, Krejcikova's path was not easy, as she defeated the fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff and Maria Sakkari before reaching the final.

After the match, Krejcikova paid tribute to her late coach Jana Novotna, the Czech tennis great who died in 2017.

"Pretty much her last words were, “Just enjoy and just try to win a Grand Slam.' I know that from somewhere she’s looking after me and all of this that just happened, this two weeks, is pretty much because she is just looking after me from up there and I really thank her," she said. "It was amazing that I had a chance to meet her, that she was such an inspiration for me and I really miss her, but I just hope she’s happy right now, and I’m extremely happy."

Both Krejcikova and Pavlyuchenkova were playing in their first singles Grand Slam final on Saturday.

Krejcikova's other Grand Slam titles came in the 2018 French Open and 2018 Wimbledon doubles competition but she has also won three consecutive mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open (2019, 2020, 2021).

This was Pavlyuchenkova's 52nd appearance in a Grand Slam tournament, which was most at majors for any woman in the professional era before reaching the final of one.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: French Open: Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova wins women's singles title

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting