A year ago, Barbora Krejcikova got a wild card to play at the Prague Open, wondering if she would make the French Open main draw postponed a month later.
These days, the new Roland Garros champion is ranked number two at the Prague Open with all the perks that come with honors.
“It’s different, it’s special, it’s very nice to get this award for success,” the 25-year-old Czech told reporters in Prague.
“But you know, it’s not really fair to other players,” she added, clutching a bouquet of blue roses, a gift from the organizers.
“It’s not really my cup of tea. I guess I’m the modest type. “
Krejcikova said her rise to stardom may have started at last year’s Prague Open, where she “gained a lot of experience” in a three-set loss to Simona Halep last August. .
“I learned that I can play at the best level, maybe that was one of the turning points,” Krejcikova said before facing Bulgarian world number 211 Isabella Shinikova in the first round of the Prague Open. .
“But if you had told me that I would win Roland Garros in a year, I would have probably kissed you and I would have said no, thank you, I’m not that good,” Krejcikova added.
Most of her singles appearances last year were in ITF tournaments and WTA tournament qualifiers, and the Prague Open wild card made her so happy that she bought a bottle for the tournament director.
Krejcikova had won two Grand Slam doubles titles with compatriot Katerina Siniakova, but she only made her mark as a singles player when the clay court season began this year.
She won the Strasbourg tournament in May, then won the singles and doubles trophies at Roland Garros last month.
– ‘Keep improving’ –
Krejcikova went to Wimbledon as the 14th seed, falling in the final 16 to future champion Ashleigh Barty after a 15-game winning streak.
“It was my first time in the main draw and I think I did pretty well,” said Krejcikova, who received special treatment as Grand Slam champion at the All England Club. .
“I could feel it, it was nice, but it doesn’t change a thing for me, I still want to work hard and keep improving,” she said.
Krejcikova added that she has not yet accepted her new status.
“I still think it doesn’t happen, when I wake up in the morning I still wonder if it’s true,” said the world number 13 in singles and 2 in doubles.
# photo1 ″ Maybe this will not really pop into me until after my career, ”added Krejcikova, who hasn’t even found time to reward herself amid the busy schedule.
Krejcikova’s next stop is the Tokyo Olympics, where she will play in singles as well as doubles with Siniakova.
“Grand Slam tournaments are more important for tennis players, but the Olympics are different, they are special,” Krejcikova said.
She said she was in “Olympic mood” after getting the blue and white Olympic costume inspired by her hometown of Moravia, east of the Czech Republic.
“I’m really looking forward to the opening ceremony. I have tried everything and everything is fine. “
© 2021 AFP