Barbora KrejcikovaCzech Tennis Player
Barbora Krejcikova is a Czech tennis player. She won her first WTA Tour singles title in 2021.
• Date of birth: 18 December 1995
• Age: 26 years old
• Place of birth: Brno, Czech Republic
• Residence: Ivancice, Czech Republic
• Nationality: Czech Republic
• Height: 178cm / 5ft 10ins
• Plays: Right-handed
• Turned Pro: 2014
• Career Prize Money: US$ 7,389,671
Krejcikova began playing tennis when she was just six years old and was later coached and mentored by WTA legend Jana Novotna.
Barbora was a highly-ranked junior player and won the girls’ doubles titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open alongside Katerina Siniakova.
She won her maiden WTA Tour title in 2021 at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, and followed that up by claiming the French Open singles crown in the same year.
A strong doubles player, Krejcikova has won multiple Grand Slam titles alongside her compatriot Siniakova. The pair also won Olympic Gold together at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
So, what do we know about Barbora’s journey to becoming the talented tennis player she is today? This is her story.
Early Life, Parents And Upbringing
Barbora Krejcikova was born on 18 December 1995 in Brno, Czech Republic.
Krejcikova started attending tennis courts in Ivancice, Czech Republic when she was just three years old. She and her mother, Hana Krejcikova, would accompany her older brother Petr at that time.
She used to practice on a tennis wall, trying to “hit the ball with little board every afternoon”.
In the winter months, she played a few times in a school gymnasium, but later was allowed to go and play on a clay court, where her first tennis coach was Antonin Ondra.
“My mum was my biggest supporter, as she was coming with me to tennis every single afternoon,” Barbora explains.
Despite her love for the sport, Barbora openly admits that she did not consider a career as a tennis player from an early age, only realising that it could be a possibility once she reached her teenage years.
“I always loved tennis, always wanted to play, but only played for fun,” Krejcikova said in an interview with The New York Times in November 2021.
“I only realised later, when I was 16 or 17 and playing junior slams, that this was something that I would love to do. That I wanted to be in the same locker room as the superstars and play against them someday.”
In 2014, Barbora and her mother reached out to Jana Novotna looking for advice. Novotna agreed to work with Krejcikova and Barbora admits that the 1998 Wimbledon winner played an enormous role in the development of her game.
“I would say that the connection to her [Novotna] was a huge guiding light for me, and I really appreciate that she gave me her time and wanted to help me and not someone else,” said Krejcikova in the same interview with The New York Times.
Krejcikova was a highly-ranked junior player and achieved lots of success on the junior tour, especially alongside her doubles partner Katerina Siniakova.
Indeed, the Czech pair won junior doubles titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in 2013, and that same year Krejcikova was ranked as the number three junior player in the world.
She ended her junior doubles career with an impressive 45 wins and just five defeats, making for a win rate of 90 per cent. In junior singles, she won 38 and lost eight of her matches.
WTA Tour Milestones
Krejcikova made her WTA Tour singles debut at the Tournoi de Quebec in September 2014, where she came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the second round of the main draw, where she lost to fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka.
Barbora enjoyed some success on the doubles tour in 2015, reaching the semi-finals at the Diamond Games, debuting in the main draw of the French Open, and winning her first doubles title at the Tournoi de Quebec.
In 2017, Barbora reached her first-ever WTA Tour level final at the Nuremberg Cup. She came through the qualifying to reach the final but ended up losing to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the showpiece.
A Breakthrough Year In 2021
Barbora enjoyed a stunning breakthrough year in 2021. She reached the final of the WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai, beating the likes of Jelena Ostapenko, Maria Sakkari and Svetlana Kuznetsova on the way. However, she ended up losing to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in straight sets in the final.
She then won her first ever singles Grand Slam title at the WTA tournament in Strasbourg in May 2021, beating Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in the final.
Barbora followed up that title with a stunning run to the final of the French Open in 2021. She beat the likes of Elina Svitolina, Sloane Stephens, and Maria Sakkari to reach the showpiece. In the final, she beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in three sets to claim her first ever grand slam singles title.
“I’m super happy I was able to enjoy it. I’m just really happy,” said Krejcikova, who was ranked 33 in the world at the time, after her win in Paris.
“It is hard to put into words because I cannot believe what just happened. I cannot believe I actually won a Grand Slam.”
An emotional Krejcikova also paid tribute to her mentor and former coach Jana Novotna, who died in 2017, after her grand slam win.
“I was going through a really hard time when Jana passed away, I was with her most of the time. Her last words were pretty much ‘just enjoy it and try to win a Grand Slam’,” Krejcikova said.
Pointing to the sky, she added: “I know from somewhere she is looking after me and all that happened in the last two weeks is pretty much because she is looking after me.
“It is amazing I had the chance to meet her and she was an inspiration. I hope she is really happy and I am extremely happy.”
Barbora was seeded 14th at Wimbledon and reached the fourth round, where she lost to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty.
At the Toyko 2020 Olympics, held in the summer of 2021, top seeded Krejcikova and her partner Katerina Siniakova won doubles gold, beating Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in the final.
At the US Open, she reached the quarter-finals, where she lost to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Her impressive performances on the WTA singles tour throughout 2021 catapulted her up to a career-high ranking of number five in the world. She ended 2021 ranked number three in the world.
At the 2022 Australian Open, Barbora reached the quarter-finals, where she lost to Madison Keys of the United States.
Life Away From The Court
Away from the court, Barbora enjoys eating ice cream as a treat and spending time with her family and friends.
Barbora’s favourite colour is purple.
What Have Others Said?
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, speaking after losing the 2021 French Open final to Krejcikova: “Congrats to Barbora. I really don’t know how you have that courage and power playing doubles and singles because honestly in the last point, I think I was dead.
“Well done, keep going in doubles tomorrow. I won’t say bye to you, I think I’ll see you later again and now I’ll be pushing for more.”