The Czech world number 30 capped off a memorable week in Dubai, stunning the most dominant player in the women’s game 6-4, 6-2 in straight sets
Barbora Krejcikova kisses the trophy after winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. — Photo by M Sajjad
Barbora Krejcikova definitely saved her best for last. After knocking out the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the previous rounds, it was the turn of world number one Iga Swatek to get the treatment.
The Czech world number 30 capped off a memorable week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, beating the most dominant player in the women’s game 6-4, 6-2 in straight sets.
Krychkova became the fourth player this century to beat a top-three player in a single game.
The first two efforts were at the WTA Finals (Ariana Sabalenka in 2022 and Venus Williams in 2008), while the only time such an achievement has been achieved at a larger venue event dates back to Serena Williams in Miami in 2002.
She beat out Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati.
The victory nets the 2021 French Open champion $454,500 and will move her up to No. 16 in the world.
Krytschkova scored eight straight points in the first set, but she ended the grandstand by scoring two match points with two consecutive aces in the second set before pulling the first set back to one.
“I feel great. I think I’ve shown my best tennis this week. I’m very happy with the way I’m playing and the way I’ve kept my nerves. I’m enjoying what’s been happening on the court this week,” Klay said. Chikova said.
The first point of the game was scored by Swiatek when Krejcikova completely misjudged and slid the ball high into the crowd. If ever there was a perfect red herring to throw, this is it.
Unfazed by her opponent’s reputation, Krejcikova broke serve in the first game, breaking break point with a stunning backhand that would be repeated throughout the next hour and 31 minutes.
When Krychkova won the first set in 44 minutes, it was the first time an opponent had taken a set over Swiatek.
In fact, it was the first time anyone had played more than four games in a match since her fourth-round loss at the Australian Open.
Despite five breaks in the first set — four of them in back-to-back matches — it wasn’t a combative affair. Krejcikova tried to hit the ball aggressively and hit a couple of dazzling backhand winners, but it also produced unforced errors.
Swiatek, on the other hand, tried to pin her to the baseline and hit the ball long in the process. On top of that, she dropped her first serve game in the second set, which Krychkova took full advantage of.
Even with the trophy in her hands, the 27-year-old was full of praise for Swatek, who is seven years her junior.
“She is No1. She has more than 10,000 points. She has won everything. She had an amazing winning streak last year, and this year too. Last week, she played well. I watched her play this week, and she is in very good form. Very good,” Krychkova said.
“It would be great if I had the chance to practice with her because she is so focused on tennis. She gives 100% every time. It’s amazing that at such a young age, she has a very clear head about what she wants to do. What. I have a lot of respect for her, and she’s a big motivator.”
This is Krychkova’s first title of 2023 and her sixth career title.
Women’s Singles (Final)
Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) defeated 1-Iga Swiatek (Poland) 6-4, 6-2
Veronika Kudermetova (Russia)/Liudmila Samsonova (Russia) defeated Hao Ching-Chan (TPE)/Latisha Chan (TPE) 6-4, 7-6, 10-1