Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday February 25, 2023

Barbora Krejcikova

The Czech powered past World No.1 Swiatek to become the first WTA player to defeat the tour's top three players at the same event in 15 years.

Photo Source: DDF TEnnis

Barbora Krejcikova faced four match points in her second round match against Daria Kasatkina in Dubai, but found a way to make it through that dramatic affair and into the round of 16.

Then the party started.

Tennis Express

Krejcikova defeated compatriot Petra Kitova to reach the quarterfinals, the plowed through the tour’s top-three players – No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, No.3 Jessica Pegula and No.1 Iga Swiatek – in succession to claim her first WTA 1000 title on Saturday in Dubai.

The 27-year-old Czech, ranked 30 and unseeded in Dubai, put up a dominant performance on Saturday to knock off the top-ranked Pole 6-4, 6-2 and become the first player to defeat the tour’s top three players at the same event since 2008.

“It definitely means a lot,” Krejcikova. who racked up four Top-10 wins this week, said on court. “It was a great week for me, I think I was improving with every single game and today I think I showed my best. So I'm really happy with the result and I also have to really admire Iga just for what she has done and what she's doing. I have so much respect for her. To me she is a big inspiration and she motivates me every day.”

Krejcikova was lethal on return and dominated the run of play because of it, winning 54 percent of her return points and 75 percent of her second-serve return points as she broke serve five times on six opportunities.

Krejcikova set the tone early with a break in the first game, then emerged from a patchy section of the set which featured four consecutive breaks with a 5-4 lead, before serving out the set at love (6-4).

Swiatek was hit with a code violation at the start of the second set for taking too long during her bathroom break, and she took issue with the call. But it didn’t stop her from having four break chances in Krejcikova’s first two service games of the set.

When all four went begging, the Czech was quick to take command, breaking for 3-2 and again for 5-2 as she reeled off the final five games of the final, completing her monumental triumph in 91 minutes.

Given the domination that Swiatek had shown through Doha, where she won the title by dropping just five games, and her first three matches at Dubai, which saw her drop nine games, the result comes as a shock.

She drops to 12-3 on the season and 2-2 against Krejcikova.

Credit the former World No.2 for playing lights out tennis during her run for the ages. Krejcikova has now won consecutive finals against Swiatek (also Ostrava last year).

Since Roland-Garros in 2022, Swiatek has gone 12-2 in finals with her only losses coming at the hands of the 2021 Roland-Garros champion.

“It's a huge achievement, what I was able to do this week, and I have to say I was really enjoying all the matches and I definitely loved playing on a big court,” Krejcikova told the crowd.

More to follow…


Latest News