Czech Barbora Krajicekova, ranked 33 in the world, won her first grand slam title, after defeating Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, “32nd in the world”, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the Roland Garros final on Saturday.
The best result of 25-year-old Kraichikova in the Grand Slam tournament was reaching the eight-finals last year at Roland Garros. The doubles specialist competed only for the fifth time in a major and a third on clay, becoming the first Czech woman to win in Paris since Hana Mandlikova in 1981.
The Roland Garros title for the sixth year in a row was won by a new player, and outside the top ten club in the WTA rankings for only the fifth time in the tournament’s history.
Kraichikova will rise to the 15th place in the world, after finishing the year 2020 in the 65th place in the world. The Brno native saved a point for losing the semi-final match against the Greek Maria Sakkari (18).
Kraichikova hopes to achieve an achievement in becoming the first player since French Marie Pierce in 2000 to win the doubles and singles titles at Roland Garros in the same year, as she competed on Sunday with her compatriot Katerina Siniakova in the final of the doubles category, who won her title in 2018.
With tears in her eyes, she dedicated the qualification to her late compatriot and former coach Jana Novotna, the 1998 Wimbledon singles champion and 12th Grand Slam singles title holder who died at 49 in 2017 after a battle with cancer: she’s looking at me from above.
The Czech won only the second singles title in her career after the French edition of Strasbourg this year.
For her part, Pavlyuchenkova qualified for the first Grand Slam final after 52 attempts, after defeating the Slovenian surprise Tamara Zidanchik. Pavlyuchenkova, 29, got rid of the quarter-final knot that she had followed six times at major tournaments, one of which was at Roland Garros in 2011.
And Pavlyuchenkova failed to become the fourth Russian to win at Roland Garros after Anastasia Myskina (2204), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2009) and Maria Sharapova (2012 and 2014).
This edition witnessed the fall of the seed after the other, like the Australian Ashleigh Barty in the second round, the veteran American Serena Williams in the fourth, while the Japanese Naomi Osaka withdrew after playing one match and the Romanian Simona Halep, the second seed, due to injury.