Barbora Krejcikova yesterday completed a singles-doubles title sweep at the French Open, when she lifted the women’s doubles trophy with compatriot Katerina Siniakova, beating Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-2.
Krejcikova on Saturday defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 at the conclusion of only her fifth appearance in a Grand Slam singles main draw.
Krejcikova became the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles title in Paris since France’s Mary Pierce completed the feat in 2000.
The 25-year-old Krejcikova, who will climb to 15th in singles following her maiden Grand Slam singles title, would return as the world No. 1 doubles player when the rankings are updated on today.
The newly crowned champion hailed her mentor and former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna who died in 2017, saying: “At the end of her life, I had to be there.”
After Saturday’s final, Krejcikova said she owed her success to Novotna, who died of cancer at age 49.
“When I was 18, I actually finished juniors, I didn’t really know what to do. I went to her house with my parents. She was always very nice. We just had a really special bond,” Krejcikova said.
“She taught me so many things that I just felt at the end of her life I have to be there. I just have to really support her,” she added.
Novotna won 24 singles titles in her career with the 1998 Wimbledon trophy the highlight.
The new champion said she learned many life and sport lessons from the world No. 2, whose own best run in Paris ended in semi-final losses in 1990 and 1996.
“She told me like: ‘I have a court on Thursday in this club at this time. If you want to come, you can come, we can look at you, have a hit,’” Krejcikova said.
“I was sick for one month so I don’t know if I can actually hold the racquet. She was like: ‘It doesn’t matter. If you feel like it, just show up. If you cannot hit, we can talk, it’s nice. The club is good. You are just going to enjoy,’” she added.
Krejcikova has now won Grand Slam titles across the board.
She has three women’s doubles titles with Katerina Siniakova from yesterday, and Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2018.
Krejcikova also has three Australian Open mixed doubles titles won in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
She is still a relative rookie as a singles player — she has yet to play at Wimbledon and the US Open.
TWO AND TWO: Lin Chen-hao of Taiwan finished seventh in the women’s U-48kg category, winning two bouts before losses the quarter-finals and a repechage match Naohisa Takato yesterday won Japan’s first gold medal at their home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s under-60kg judo final. Yang’s second-place finish is Taiwan’s first medal in Tokyo and the nation’s first-ever medal in an Olympics judo competition. Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s under-48kg final less than an hour before Takato made sure that his team would not have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art. Takato won his final three bouts in sudden-death golden score, but he took the final a bit anticlimactically after Yang committed
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KEEP ’EM COMING: In her first Olympic appearance, Lo set a high bar, fighting her way to the final bouts, and earning Taiwan its second medal after Yang Yung-wei’s silver Taiwan’s Lo Chia-ling yesterday clinched the nation’s second medal at the Tokyo Olympics, grabbing a bronze medal in taekwondo in the women’s 57kg class. Nineteen-year-old Lo beat Nigeria’s Tekiath Ben Yessouf 10-6 at Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe convention center. Lo, who is making her first appearance in the Olympic Games, worked her way to the bronze medal contest with an early 20-18 win against South Korea’s Lee Ah-reum in the round of 16, before dropping Canada’s Skylar Park 18-7 in the quarter-final. It was Anastasija Zolotic of the US who denied the former World Taekwondo Junior Championship gold medalist a chance to fight for