Barbora Krejcikova wins 1st Grand Slam title at French Open

U.S. & World

Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova slams a forehand to Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova during their final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Saturday, June 12, 2021 in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) — Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the French Open final Saturday.

This was only the fifth major tournament in singles for Krejcikova, a 25-year-old from the Czech Republic.

She is the third unseeded women’s champion in the last five years at Roland Garros.

Krejcikova now will try to become the first woman since Mary Pierce in 2000 to win the French Open singles and doubles titles in the same year. Krejcikova and partner Kateria Siniakova already own two Grand Slam doubles titles and are scheduled to play in the final of that event in Paris on Sunday.

The 31st-seeded Pavlyuchenkova was playing in her first Grand Slam final in the 52nd major tournament of her career.

She was treated for a left leg injury late in the second set Saturday.

This was only the second WTA singles title for Krejcikova, but they have come in her past two tournaments. She won the trophy on clay at Strasbourg, France, last month and is now on a 12-match winning streak.

She is the sixth consecutive first-time Grand Slam champion to collect the trophy at Roland Garros, where the red clay can diminish the effectiveness of speedy serves and the sometimes odd bounces produced by, and particular footwork required on, the surface can frustrate players.

Saturday’s matchup between two first-time Grand Slam finalists was perhaps a fitting conclusion to a two weeks filled with surprises.

Naomi Osaka, a four-time major champion seeded No. 2, withdrew after one match — and a conflict with Grand Slam officials over a rule that mandates speaking to the media — to take a mental health break. No. 1-ranked Ash Barty, the 2019 champion, retired from her second-round match with a left hip injury. No. 3 Simona Halep, the 2018 champion, never showed up because of a hurt calf. Serena Williams was beaten in the fourth round. Defending champion Iga Swiatek lost in the quarterfinals.

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