06/10/2021 at 9:23 PM CEST
The strangest Roland Garros in the women’s team will be settled in an unexpected final between the Czech Barbora Krejcikova, 33 in the world at 25, and the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 32 from the ranking of 29.
Until now, a reputed doubles player, also classified for the semifinals of the women’s team with her compatriot Katerina Siniakova, the Czech gave the penultimate surprise of the tournament by defeating the Greek Maria Sakkari, 18 in the world, also 25 years old.
Krejcikova succeeds her compatriot Marketa Vondrousova, a finalist two years ago, and may become the second Czech to win the tournament, after Hana Mandlikova did it in 1981. Pavlyuchenkova will be the first Russian to play a final in Paris since Maria Sharapova did it in 2014, when she lifted the trophy.
The Czech saved a match ball in her duel against Sakkari to access an unexpected ending, in her most complete year, in which, as she herself has confessed, the good health situation during the pandemic in her country allowed her to train more than other rivals.
Thus, in recent months she achieved a WTA 1,000 final in March, a first title two weeks ago and, for the first time, a final. It seemed that he was not going to get it when Sakkari put out his best game, scored the second set and took an advantage in the third. With 5-4 and a match ball.
But Krejcikova held on, giving a defense lessonPerhaps not the most colorful tennis, but enough to end up unhinging the more offensive Greek, who could not prolong the Greek tennis party, which tomorrow will also seek a men’s final with Stefanos Tsitsipas, against German Alexander Zverev.
Pavlyuchenkova finally got the award for her persistence, 51 Grand Slam later, always far from the final positionsSeven quarterfinals later, he managed to break the glass ceiling on his record to play his first major final.
She defeated the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in the semifinals, 7-5 and 6-3, another neophyte in the final rounds of the tournaments, 85 of the world who, until this Roland Garros, had barely won three games in all the Grand Slam.
Less than a month after turning 30, the Russian signs the story of a promise too young, who wandered the circuit with strokes of genius and depression, without responding to the expectations that had been generated about his career.
The current number 32 of the ranking has finally exploded at the most unpredictable Roland Garros, in which the favorites were, one by one, handing over their weapons to little-known tennis players. Pavlyuchenkova herself took it upon herself to take down two, Belarusians both, Aryna Sabalenka, 3 in the world, and Victoria Azarenka, 15.
Thus he made his way into the painting, leaving glimpses of the tennis he promised when he was 14 years old and won the Australian Open junior and the following year it led the ranking of the category.
His name attracted sponsorships in a country that looked favorably on women’s tennis, a perfect showcase, a guaranteed success that, however, went too far to his head, generating a whirlwind of pressure that he could not control.
At 17 I was 27 in the world and Many Grand Slam were already predicted for the player who, however, entered a spin. Glory gave way to a rocky road, with constant ups and downs of talent and depression, which came to him in 2018 when he was about to leave tennis.
His trajectory seems to have straightened out in recent years, cor coinciding with the arrival of his brother to the position of coach, one of the sensations of the stands with his striking tattoos.
Pavlyuchenkova does not hide that impressing her brother has been an extraordinary motivation And, as the talent was, the work has come to reinforce the tandem. The result is this first Roland Garros final.
Nobody had played so many greats before reaching their first final, a prize for perseverance, a gift received many years late according to the schedule originally planned.