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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday January 14, 2022

 
Barbora Krejcikova

Barbora Krejcikova ralled from an awful opening set and saved seven match points in the third to defeat Anett Kontaveit in Sydney.

Photo Source: Getty

Barbora Krecjikova was staring down the barrel of a lopsided loss on Friday night in Sydney. But having lost the first seven games of her semifinal with Anett Kontaveit, the Czech never hung her head.

Krejcikova rallied, made a match of it by playing a gritty middle set, and in the decider she was rewarded for her efforts as she saved a total of seven match points (three in the 12th game and four in the tiebreaker) to eventually snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, defeating Kontaveit 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(12) to book a spot in the Sydney Tennis Classic final, where Spain’s Paula Badosa waits.


After the match, Krejcikova said she just kept things simple.

“I was just playing, just trying to fight for every single ball,” she said. “When I had those match points down, I was just trying to figure out how to build up the point and how to win the point, and that was everything that I was focusing on.”

Krejcikova, who improved to 3-0 on the season, says it was 50-50 down the stretch, and she’s happy she was able to make it through.

“I think this match was very just mentally tough, because, you know, like starting with losing the first set with zero, it's not very confident start, it's not very good,” she said. “I think Anett was playing really amazing tennis at the beginning, and I was just waiting for my chances because I knew I'm gonna get some. I mean, it was really 50-50 until the end of the match, and yeah, I was little better with the nerves at the end.”

Kontaveit had her chances, but came away feeling okay about where her game is ahead of the 2022 Australian Open, which begins on Monday in Melbourne.

Tennis Express

“I think she definitely leveled it up in the second set and started serving much better, playing more aggressive,” the Estonian said. “Yeah, then it was an extremely close match until the end. I mean, I had my chances, but she played great on the match points. I don't think there was much in it. It was an extremely close match and it was good level, and I was pretty happy with it.”

Krejcikova snaps a five-match losing streak against the Top-5, and avenges a loss to Kontaveit at last year’s WTA Finals in Guadalajara, where she fell in straight sets.

But Krejcikova, now ranked No.4 compared to 65 at this time last year, isn’t focused on such numbers.

“I don't look at it like this,” she said. “I just go and I, you know, I have an opponent there and I just want to beat them. I mean, if I lose, it happens. It's not that – you know, I'm not robot, I cannot win everything.”

Krejcikova will bid for her fourth career title on Saturday against Badosa, who eased past Daria Kasatkina, 6-2, 6-2 in Friday’s second semifinal.

Badosa owns a 2-0 record against the Czech, with both victories coming last season, at Madrid and Indian Wells.

 

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