Barbora Krejcikova won her first Grand Slam singles title on Saturday with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to claim the women’s singles crown at the French Open.
The 25-year old unseeded Czech, won 6-1 2-6 6-4 against Russian 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at Roland Garros.
The former doubles world number one has won the title on her fifth appearance in a Grand Slam singles draw.
On Sunday, Krejcikova has the chance to win the doubles when she plays in the final alongside Katerina Siniakova.
No player has won both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since France’s Mary Pierce in 2000.
Krejcikova sealed the first half of what could be a rare double when she served out victory with her fourth match point.
When Pavlyuchenkova hit a return long, the Czech clenched her fist in celebration and looked up to the sky as she remembered her mentor Jana Novotna.
“I’m super happy I was able to enjoy it. I’m just really happy,” said world number 33 Krejcikova, who has also won two Grand Slams doubles titles. It is hard to put into words because I cannot believe what just happened. I cannot believe I actually won a Grand Slam.”
Krejcikova was ranked outside the top 100 last September but is set to rise to 15th in the world
Krejcikova has often spoken about the impact of former Wimbledon champion Novotna, who died in November 2017 from cancer at the age of 49.
When she was 18 and an aspiring player, Krejcikova’s parents took her to Novotna’s house and asked the former world number two for some advice.
Novotna saw something special and became her coach, mentor and friend until she died.
“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 this what happened in the last two weeks is pretty much because she is looking after me from up there.
“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.”