Czech Barbora Krajicekova, ranked 33 in the world, qualified for the first time to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament, after defeating American teenager Kiki Gauff, ranked 25, 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 at the French Opens Roland Garros on Wednesday.
And Kraichikova achieved her best result so far in the Grand Slam, as she had never crossed the second round, which she participated in twice in Australia, in 2020 and 2021. “I never imagined I would get here,” said the Czech. “I still can’t believe it.” I got here after winning in Strasbourg and that’s nice, but I never imagined I’d get here, on this court, especially in the singles. Being able to win like this is something I never imagined. Regarding her competitor, Jof said: She is 17 years old, but when I was her age, I used to take courses for young women… Her time will come.
The Czech needed an hour and a quarter of an hour to finish the first set 7-6 (8-6), as she needed to save five balls against her, before taking the lead in the second 5-0, as she managed to break her American opponent’s serve several times in a row. Although she advanced in the tiebreak to decide the match 40-0, she lost this advantage to the 17-year-old, who responded by winning all the points and 5-2 in the set.
Kraichikova, 25, who won the doubles title on French clay courts in 2018, got a fifth chance to decide the match in her favor by sending her opponent, but she failed to translate it in her favour, so Goff responded strongly and decided the game in her favour, 5-3.
Despite losing three consecutive games, Krajchikova maintained her composure and coolness, as she succeeded in using her serve and the power of her kicks to advance 40-0 and decide the set in her favour, and then the match.
And Kraichikova met in the semi-finals with the winner of the match between the Greek 18th seed Maria Sakkari and the Polish defending champion Iga Šviontik.
Paradoxically, Kraychikova almost ended her career in Paris in the previous round, after she expressed in the office of the physiotherapist that she felt that she did not want to play against another American, Sloane Stephens, the runner-up of the French championship 2018. However, she decided to go out to the stadium to win 6-2 6-0, achieving She set a record of 9 consecutive victories after her arrival in Paris when she crowned the title in Strasbourg (increasing the number to 10 after defeating Gauff).
Kraichikova admitted at the end of the match that she felt a lot of tension on the day of the victory over Stevens, and that she collapsed in tears at the “Susan Lenglen” stadium. In contrast, Gauff, at the age of 17 years and 86 days, became the youngest player to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam since Czech Nicole Vaidisova in France also in 2006 at 17 years and 44 days, and the youngest American in this role in Paris since Jennifer Capriati in 1993.
Since her participation in “The Tempest” at the age of 15 at Wimbledon in 2019, Goff has not been able to translate her participation into resounding successes.
The American qualified for the quarter-finals in Paris without losing a group on French clay before her match against Krajchikova, while benefiting from the third round of the withdrawal of her compatriot Jennifer Brady, ranked 14th in the world and runner-up to the 2021 Australian champion, due to injury.
Gauff rose from 938th in the world on July 2, 2018 to 25th at Roland Garros this year, but her record includes only two titles in Austria’s Linz 2019 and Italian Parma (2021).