Doubles specialist, Barbora Krejcikova reaches a grandslam singles semifinals for the first time in her career, defeating American teen sensation Coco Gauff in the first match of the day on Court Philippe Chatrier. The Czech beat the 24th seed in straight sets 7-6(6),6-3.
This was both Guff’s first grandslam quarterfinal match and the 17-year old definitely made life difficult for Krejcikova. As for the 22018 Doubles Champion, she played an absolutely brilliant match, outplaying Gauff from the baseline and serving cleanly too. She hit 27 winners, 2 more than Gauff and hit 28 unforced errors, 13 less than the American.
Gauff started the first set with a bang, breaking her opponent upfront and taking a 3-0 lead. But Krejcikova was quick to react, as she broke back at drew level at 3-3. Gauuf again broke and was serving for the set at 5-3, but her lack of experience didn’t let her consolidate that break. Krejcikova held serve and took the set into a tie breaker. Even in the tie breaker, Gauff had 2 match points but she bottled it and Krecikova won the set, dropping 6 points.
The second set saw a string of uncharacteristic unforced errors from Gauff. She got broken twice and dropped 14 points in a row to trail 0-5. A furious Gauff also broke a racket for the first time in her career, consequently getting a warning. But she then saved 6 match points, breaking Krejcikova in a dramatic ending to the set. But the Czech eventually held nerve won the set 6-3.
‘This is something I’ve never dreamed of’: Barbora Krejcikova
In the on court interview, Krejcikova thanked the crowd for coming and cheering for her. From today onwards, with the relaxation in rules, more people were allowed in Stade Roland Garros.
She said: “Thank you so much for coming today. It was really amazing. You gave us so much energy today. We are actually more pumped so thanks for cheering. It was amazing to play in front of you guys. And I am looking forward to see you during my next match.”
The interviewer asked her whether she could even believe the enormity of the situation. She said: “No, I don’t realize it. I had a really good start to the Clay season. Then I came to Strasbourg and was enjoying my game and won the title there. It was really nice and now I am here[Paris] in the semifinals and I never imagined I was gonna stand here and play singles. Already for me, this is something I’ve never dreamed of.”
Krejcikova also analyzed her game and was all praises for her young opponent. “I was all the time down. But I told myself just go for every ball, and just enjoy. I somehow managed to make it till the end. Also to Coco, she’s incredible. She is 17 year old, when I was 17 I played ITF’s so its amazing. I wish her all the best,” she concluded.