Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic holds the trophy after the women's singles final match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia at the French Open in Paris on June 12, 2021. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova won her maiden Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, becoming the first Czech women in 40 years to conquer Roland Garros.
PARIS, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Czech tennis player Barbora Krejcikova won her maiden Grand Slam singles title at the French Open here on Saturday, beating Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the final.
Krejcikova, 25, has become the first Czech woman in 40 years to conquer Roland Garros where Hana Mandlikova claimed the trophy in 1981.
Krejcikova, ranked 33 in the world, paid an emotional tribute to her mentor Jana Novotna, who died of cancer at the age of 49 in 2017.
Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic celebrates after the women's singles final match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia at the French Open in Paris on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua)
"It's hard to put into words. I cannot believe I have just won a Grand Slam," said Krejcikova. "I spent a lot of time with Jana before she died. Her last words to me were 'enjoy tennis and try and win a Grand Slam'."
Krejcikova will rise to world No. 15 as a result of her win on Saturday as she became the sixth successive first-time major winner in Paris.
She is also the third unseeded champion at Roland Garros in the last five years after Jelena Ostapenko in 2017 and Iga Swiatek in 2020.
Barbora Krejcikova (R) of the Czech Republic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia pose with their trophies after the women's singles final match at the French Open in Paris on June 12, 2021. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
Pavlyuchenkova, 29, was playing in her first Slam final at the 52nd attempt.
"I was preparing a speech for this moment ever since I was a little kid and now I am lost for words," said Pavlyuchenkova.
"Congratulations to Barbora. I don't know how you play singles and doubles. I was dead on the last point," she said. ■