Roland Garros

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Paris, France

Barbora Krejcikova

Press Conference


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I want to know if there was a moment after she saved was it five match points, I think, was there a moment that you felt maybe this match could slip away? Second question, nothing to do with this, but it's a feature question, and that is do you ever get nervous when there are famous people like stars of different fields in the stands watching you, actors, singers, people from other sports? Does it affect you when you're on court?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I'm going to first answer the second question.

No, it doesn't affect me. I'm actually happy. I think it's very nice if other athletes come and they support and they want to see the match and want to get entertained. I think it's very nice. I would do the same if I were somewhere else. It would be special for me.

The first thing was about the match points. I mean, like, it actually came to my mind. I mean, I can say that. Why not? But I was just there. I'm like, You got to be aggressive, you just got to go, you got to play, you are still up. Just go for your shots. If you're going to stay aggressive, it's not going to slip. That's what I was telling to myself.

Q. About your great run in singles last year, you talked about this at Roland Garros last year, but the five-month break really helped you mentally and technically. Can you talk about that a little bit.

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I mean, it helped me a lot. It helped me a lot because I spend more time at home. I was playing more of the Czech tournaments. I was actually able to practice with the Czech girls higher ranked than I was. I gain a lot of experience, I would say, during pandemic because Czech Republic was quite okay with pandemic, and we actually had a lot of tennis tournaments. So that was nice.

I just had more time. I just didn't really have to split the time in between singles and doubles. Playing singles, ITFs, and doubles, WTAs. I think it helped me a lot. Also just seeing that there are also other things in the world that actually are happening, are just more tougher and more difficult than just me playing tennis and losing or me just playing tennis.

There was also another things that it just got to my mind. I'm like, Well, I go and I play tennis and I lose, but there are actually people that are losing their lives. I just felt more like, Well, just relax because you are healthy. Just appreciate this and just enjoy the game. You can do something what maybe other people would like to do as well but they cannot.

I think I just had a really good approach to this.

Q. The other day you spoke about the anxiety you had before going out for that match when you locked yourself in the room. How have you managed to get over that for the last couple of matches, in particular today's match?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, I think it's better to say it was more about panic. I was thinking that Sloane, she actually played two Czech Karolinas. She just beat them. These girls, they are more experienced in singles than I am. I just worried that I'm just going to go there and I'm just not going to have a chance, that she's going to out-hit me. That's why I felt like panic before the match.

I was just like, Oh, my God, what if I'm going to lose 0, 0. It would be a disaster, stuff like this.

But I think it really helped me. I mean, for this match, for example for today, I was just super relaxed and I didn't have these feelings again. I think it was just a tough day, just a tough day. You have to just go and you have to try to overcome this somehow. For me, it was helpful to actually talk to my psychologist and just talk about it, just have some good words from her because she knows.

I mean, then when I went on court, we start hitting, I felt that I actually can play rallies with her, I was like, Okay, it's not that bad actually.

I don't know why I was panicking like this.

Q. You were very emotional when you won Strasbourg, winning the first title in the same place where Jana Novotna won. Now you're matching her best results in Roland Garros. How does it feel for you?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I didn't know about this. I didn't know about this here. It's amazing. It's perfect.

I always think about her. Every time I go on court, I step out of the court, I always think about her. I'm always wondering what she would tell me after such a run, all this winning matches and everything. I'm just really sad I cannot actually hear her and she cannot really say anything.

I get a lot of support from her family and from her friends, everybody that was around her. For me, because I know they knew her really well, so I think they can actually give me the words that she would say, so it's really helpful.

I'm happy. Yeah, it's nice. I feel like she kind of always knew that I can play this high level, that I can play matches like this. But it's just sad that it didn't happen earlier, so...

Q. At what point or has it happened yet that you maybe stopped in your head thinking that you were a doubles specialist?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Like I never really wanted to be a doubles specialist. Everybody, they just put a label on me like, Yeah, you play doubles, you are a doubles specialist. But I never thought I just want to be a doubles specialist. We won our first two Grand Slams when I was 22. I felt like I don't want to be a doubles specialist when I was 22. I want to play singles, I want to work hard, improve my game. I want to play the top players actually in singles.

So I was just working hard all the time. I just wanted to play singles. It was really, like, frustrating that I just wasn't able to get there. But I always felt like if I'm going to work hard, I'm just going to continue, just try to be patient, which is not really my thing (smiling), but I felt sooner or later I'm just going to get there and I will have a chance to play all these top players, to learn something, gain some experience.

I'm just very happy. I just really appreciate that I'm here, that I'm here, that I'm playing tennis, that I can do well at what I love to do, that I can play all these amazing athletes. It's very nice when I have a match point and I finish the point, I can raise up my hands and really just enjoy the moment, yeah, that I feel that right now that's where I want to be, that's where I always wanted to be. So it's cool. It's cool.

Q. What do you think Jana would be saying to you now? What do you think? Also, Maria Sakkari is close to winning. What are your thoughts about playing her?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I think she would just tell me that she's very proud. That's what I think she would do. She would just tell me just enjoy, keep going. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you just have to do your best every single time you step on court, just focus on tennis, just play. Just play, just enjoy, just have fun, appreciate that you can be here and you can do what you love.

That's what I think she would tell me. She would be just extremely happy. She would just be jumping and screaming. That's how I remember. That's actually what she was doing when I played ITFs and I won ITFs. I guess maybe it would be even bigger right now.

About Maria, I mean, it will be nice if I can play her again. I mean, the match isn't over, so who knows what's going to happen. But I just feel she's a very good player. She's really athletic. She also have experience.

I think it's just going to be another tough match. I'm in a semifinal. One of them is going to be in the semifinals. They're already having good form. I just know it's going to be tough. I just have to prepare well and just go out there and try to play my best tennis. Most importantly, just enjoy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108570-1-1145 2021-06-09 12:58:00 GMT

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