Barbora Krejcikova will go into next week’s Australian Open confident her pre-season preparations have her ready to challenge for the first Grand Slam of the year after a grueling 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (14/12) victory over Anett Kontaveit yesterday.
The French Open champion will play in the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic today after grinding out a come-from-behind win over the Estonian that gave the world No. 4 a major boost.
“I think it’s perfect, because when you come after the off-season you don’t really know what to expect, and you are a little bit doubting yourself if you did a good off-season,” Krejcikova said.
“I can see that the off-season was good. I believe I’m going to continue like this and it’s an amazing result to be in a finals during the first tournament. So I’m really happy with that,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to first finish this week, try to do really good... Then I’m going to focus on a Slam,” she added.
Krejcikova was made to work for the win having started slowly, losing the opening set 6-0 before clawing her way back.
After leveling the scores with a 6-4 win in the second set, the 26-year-old held her nerve to prevail in a lengthy third-set tiebreaker having saved match point on seven occasions.
“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 said. “This match was very mentally tough because starting with losing the first set with zero, it’s not [a] very confident start, it’s not very good.”
“I think Anett [Kontaveit] was playing really amazing tennis at the beginning and I was just waiting for my chances because I knew I’m gonna get some,” she said. “It was really 50-50 until the end of the match and I was little better with the nerves at the end.”
The Czech faces Paula Badosa of Spain in the final, after the world No. 9 defeated Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour, 15 minutes in yesterday’s second semi-final.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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