CHAMPION: Barbora Krejcikova wins French Open

Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova battled past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the final of the French Open

Barbora Krejcikova won the French Open

Barbora Krejcikova battled past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the final of the French Open to claim her first singles Grand Slam title.

The 25-year-old, a former doubles number one, became the first Czech to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Hana Mandlikova, who represented the former Czechoslovakia, triumphed in 1981.

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“It’s hard to put words together right now. I can’t believe what has just happened, that I’ve just won a Grand Slam,” said Krejcikova, who became a first-time women’s major winner in Paris for the sixth successive year.

She entered Paris at a career-high 33rd spot and will further rise to 15th when the rankings are updated on Monday.

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Krejcikova, unseeded in singles, could walk away with even more silverware from Paris this weekend as she will be back on court on Sunday with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova.

The duo is hoping to win their second Roland Garros doubles title following their success in 2018.

Remembering Jana Novotna

Krejcikova, 25, was coached earlier in her career by former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna, who died of cancer in 2017 at the age of 49.

In an emotional victory speech, she said: “I was going through a really hard time when Jana was passing away.

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“I was most of the time with her and I really wanted to experience this because I felt it was going to make me really strong. Pretty much her last words were just enjoy and just try to win a Grand Slam.

“I know that from somewhere she’s looking after me and all of this is pretty much because she’s looking after me from up there.

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“It’s amazing that I had a chance to meet her and that she was such an inspiration for me. I really miss her but I hope she’s happy right now.”