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French Open 2021 Women's Final: Early Predictions for Krejcikova at Wimbledon

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2021

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 12: Match Winner Barbora Krejcikova of Czech Republic kisses the winners trophy after the Women’s final on day fourteen of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 12, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Barbora Krejcikova hung on during the final set to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the French Open final Saturday to secure her first Grand Slam title in just her fifth major appearance.

The unseeded Czech is now the reigning "Queen of Paris" and the tournament's eighth different champion in eight years.

Krejcikova had a bit of history on her side after winning the first set 6-1. Seventeen of the last 19 final winners won the opening set.

Pavlyuchenkova fought valiantly through a left leg injury in the deciding set, adding adversity to an already pressure-packed final, but she couldn't go the distance against the determined Krejcikova.

Despite having won two women's doubles slams, the 25-year old completed one of the most unlikely runs to a singles Grand Slam title, defeating Maria Sakkari in the semifinal to face the 31st-seeded Pavlyuchenkova.

And she did it in front of fellow Czech and idol Martina Navratilova, who was on hand at the legendary clay courts of Roland Garros.

"I just want to thank everyone for coming today and cheering for us," Krejcikova told the crowd. "The atmosphere was amazing. I was super happy that I was able to enjoy it. I am just really happy. I just thank Martina Navratilova and all the others and my team and my coach and everyone back home. It’s hard to put words together. I cannot believe that I won a grand slam.

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"I was going though a hard time when Jana Novotna passed her away. Pretty much her last words to me were, 'Just enjoy and try to win a Grand Slam.' Pretty much this whole thing is because she is looking down. She was such an inspiration. I just really miss her and hope she is happy right now. I am extremely happy."

ESPN India @ESPNIndia

Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova wins the French Open 🏆 And she's in contention to win the doubles title as well 👊 https://t.co/h2yF1fIpfr

Next up for Krejcikova is the chase for the women's doubles title.

With a win on Sunday, she can become the first woman to win a singles and doubles title at the French Open since Mary Pierce did it in 2000.

Krejcikova will also look to bring her winning ways to Wimbledon in July.

But unlike the French Open, which saw Serena Williams get upset in the fourth round by 21-year-old Elena Rybakina and Naomi Osaka withdraw after citing concerns for her mental health, the field at tennis' premier event will be very challenging.

Williams is on the decline, but she has dominated the grass courts at Wimbledon to win a record seven titles and could be one of the biggest obstacles to any contender.

Osaka has pulled out of a grass-court event in Berlin that normally serves as a tune-up for Wimbledon. If the No. 2-ranked player in the world is absent, it does leave the door a little bit more open for Krejcikova and others.

Still, Ashleigh Barty, who had to pull the plug on her run at the French Open because of a left hip injury, will be in the field, and the world No. 1 is hungrily searching for her first win in London.

                

Prediction

While the win at the French Open could be the springboard for big things to come for Krejcikova, it won't start at Wimbledon.

The young Czech player does have a game for all surfaces, but so does Barty, who has quickness that separates her from the field.

It should be the Barty Show given the concerns around the form of Williams and whether Osaka will be able to play. She'll be out to avenge her round-of-16 loss to Alison Riske in 2019.

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