“What would Jana say?” »- Krejcikova left with question in Paris
Posted On June 10, 2021
PARIS: Barbora Krejcikova (Photo) had all the answers on court against Coco Gauff, but he had one big question left after reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros on Wednesday: what would his former mentor, fellow Czech Jana Novotna, think of his race in Paris?
Former Wimbledon champion Novotna, who died in 2017, oversaw Krejcikova’s career from 2014 to 2017 and reached the last four at Roland Garros in 1990 and again in 1996, a few months after the birth of her protégé.
“It’s amazing. It’s perfect,” Krejcikova said of Novotna’s best Grand Slam performance on clay.
“I still think about her. Every time I go to the field, I go off the field, I always think of her. I always wonder what she would say to me after such a race, all those winning games and everything.
“I’m just really sad that I can’t hear her and she can’t really say anything.”
Krejcikova had to speculate after her 7-6 (6) 6-3 win over 25th seed Gauff.
“She would just tell me that she is very proud. That’s what I think she would do. She was just telling me ‘Enjoy, keep going’, ”she explained.
“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you just have to do your best every time you step onto the court, just focus on the tennis, just play.
“She was just jumping and screaming. This is how I remember. This is actually what she did when I was playing ITFs (lower tournaments) and winning ITFs. I guess it might be even bigger now. “
Krejcikova now faces Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who knocked out defending champion Iga Swiatek 6-4 6-4, and she can now seek to become the first Czech woman to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Hana Mandlikova in 1981. – Reuters