General News

Krejcikova & Djokovic a class apart in Paris

Krejcikova & Djokovic a class apart in Paris

Barbora Krejcikova and Novak Djokovic are the new singles champions at Roland Garros, a tournament that was dominated by Europeans in the professional as well as the junior events. Djokovic secured his nineteenth major over first-time Grand Slam finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(6) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. With two female Grand Slam final debutantes gunning to make history, it was the Czech number five who fought off Russian veteran Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a 6-1 2-6 6-4 win in their title bout.

Djokovic came back from a two-set-to-love deficit for the second time in the tournament and claimed his 19th major, inching closer to equalling the 20-slam record held by his contemporaries. He also claims his second title in Paris, setting him apart from his chief rivals by being the first male player to claim each Slam at least twice in the Open Era.

The men’s semi-finals were a story of opposites, featuring the four in-form players coming into the event. One match was a titanic clash between two stalwarts of the old guard while the other featured two of the most familiar faces of what was once the 'NextGen', still waiting in the wings to make their Grand Slam mark, but edging ever closer. Rafael Nadal and Djokovic settled in to a gargantuan battle. Reminiscent of the 2012 marathon in the Australian Open final, the third set lasted over 90 minutes and was an indication of the level of the two men’s great skill and ability. Once that final ball was struck, it was the Spaniard who had capitulated, surrendering on what many consider to be his territory. In the other semi, the Greek had been seemingly sailing to an easy win but was made to dig deep as Alexander Zverev came back to level the match at two sets apiece. However, Tsitsipas held his nerve and made it through to his first grand slam decider, arguably his biggest and most important win since claiming the trophy at the Nitto ATP finals in 2019. The importance of the victory was evident as he could not hold back his emotion in his post-match interview. 

In stark contrast, the top female seeds were dropping like flies; after Naomi Osaka’s controversial exit, Ashleigh Barty and Petra Kvitova withdrew injured, while Elina Svitolina, Serena Williams, Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Bianca Andreescu, Sofia Kenin, Karolina Pliskova and Garbiñe Muguruza were all taken out in surprising fashion. Coupled with the absence of Simona Halep, the draw was wide open and some new names were able to bask in the light of the Parisian sun, with six of the eight quarterfinalists having progressed to that stage for the first time in a Slam. Maria Sakkari became the first Greek woman ever to make it to a Grand Slam semi-final, beating the defending champion Swiatek in the quarters. After watching match points come and go, she surrendered to the eventual champion in a tough semi. It had taken 52 Slam appearances for Pavlyuchenkova to make it to her first Slam semi, doing so with a win over her doubles partner Elena Rybakina (KAZ), the conqueror of Serena Williams. The Russian went a step further for her career best result with a win over another major semi-final debutante in the form of Slovenian Tamara Zidansek. The Russian was perhaps the sentimental favourite going in to the final, but in the end was unable to stop Krejcikova’s momentum. Cheered on by Czech Tennis Association President Ivo Kaderka, she completed her improbable run to the title, the first in Paris by a Czech player since 1981.

But there was more history to be made, as Krejcikova’s superlative performance in Paris also saw her become the first player since 2000 to win the women’s singles and doubles at Roland Garros in the same year. Playing with Katerina Siniakova, her childhood friend and long-time team-mate (the pair won Junior Roland Garros and the European 18 & Under Championships in 2013), she eased to the doubles title with a minimum of fuss, dropping just one set in six matches.  

While Krejcikova managed to win the title in just her fifth Grand Slam main draw, Roland Garros 2021 was also a coming-of-age tournament for many of the promising youngsters on the tour today:

Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) keeps on impressing, reaching the round of sixteen in his Grand Slam debut. He was on his way to causing the biggest upset of the tournament, holding a two-sets-to-love lead, before eventually facing a Djokovic comeback. The hustle in winning the tight first two sets took its toll. As the match progressed the Italian was a shadow of himself and retired in the fifth set.

Carlos Alzaraz (ESP) scored his first Slam wins, falling to Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in a straight-set third round encounter, but this performance can only boost his confidence as the year goes on.

Jannick Sinner (ITA) lost a straight-set fourth round match to Rafael Nadal.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP), the 2017 Wimbledon Junior champ, made it to his first major quarterfinal, before going down to Zverev.

Marta Kostyuk (UKR), The 2017 Australian Open Junior champion, took out 2016 Roland Garros champion Muguruza and pushed defending champion Swiatek in their fourth-round night-time encounter.

Coco Gauff, former Tennis Europe Junior Tour #1 once again showed maturity beyond her years. She did not drop a set until falling in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion, after holding four set points in the first set.

Clara Tauson (DEN) put up a fight against Victoria Azarenka in Round Two, but was outdone in two tight sets 5-7 4-6. Nevertheless, it was a strong Grand Slam performance on the back of her first WTA title win earlier in the year in Lyon.

Doubles finals:

Men: Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) & Nicolas Mahut (FRA) def Alexander Bublik (KAZ) & Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 4-6 7-6(1) 6-4
Women: Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) & Katerina Siniakova (CZE) def Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) & Iga Swiatek (POL) 6-4 6-2
Mixed: Desirae Krawczyk (USA) & Joe Salisbury (GBR) def Elena Vesnina (RUS) & Aslan Karatsev (RUS) 2-6 6-4 10-5


Unseeded Linda Noskova became the first Czech girl to make it into the junior girls final since 1989, accounting for several top seeds on the way including #1 Victoria Jimenez (AND) in the quarterfinal. The 2018 European 14 and Under Champion beat Erika Andreeva (RUS) 7-6(3) 6-3 to hold aloft the coveted trophy.

In an unprecedented turn of events, all four boys’ singles semi-finals spots were occupied by French players. The eventual champion, Luca Van Assche beat Sean Cuenin, while Arthur Fils defeated Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (with whom he would team to win the doubles) in the other semi. The Former Tennis Europe Junior Tour #4 and Kremlin Cup Junior champion, Van Assche, came out on top with a 6-4 6-2 win over his former Junior Tour doubles partner in the final.

Other familiar names from the Tennis Europe Junior Tour also had notable performances. Sebastianna Scilipoti (SUI) fell to Jimenez in round three. Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) was seen off in round two by the runner up, while 2019 European Junior Championships 14 & Under gold medalist Michaela Laki, provided more promising news regarding the future of Greek tennis, making a third round showing.

A prolific winner on the TEJT with an endless list of titles to his name, Viacheslav Bielinsky (UKR) made a strong run to the quarters, as did Spaniard Daniel Rincon. The Ukrainian was halted by Mpetshi Perricard, who had also foiled the hopes of Benjamin Privara, 16&U player of the year in 2019 on our junior tour.

Doubles Finals:

Boys: Arthur Fils (FRA) & Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (FRA) def Martin Katz (BEL) & German Samofalov (UKR) 7-5 6-2
Girls: Alexandra Eala (PHI) & Oksana Selekhmeteva (RUS) def Maria Bondarenko (RUS) & Amarissa Kiara Toth (HUN) 6-0 7-5


« Back

» News archive