Thursday, June 10, 2021

Krejcikova saves MP, will face ex-Capital for title in Paris

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who played for the
Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis at 15
in 2006, reached a Grand Slam final in a record
 52 attempts. 2017 photo by Paul Bauman
   Saving a match point, unseeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic outlasted No. 17 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 in 3 hours, 18 minutes today in the French Open semifinals in Paris.
   Krejcikova (pronounced Kray-chee-ko-va) survived a match point serving at 3-5 in the third set and needed five match points over two games to subdue Sakkari, the runner-up in the inaugural Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif., in 2018.
   Krejcikova, who won her first WTA singles title in Strasbourg the week before the French Open, extended her winning streak to 11 matches. She will face No. 31 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia for the first time on Saturday at 6 a.m. PDT (NBC). Both are first-time Grand Slam singles finalists.
   "I just think it's going to be a lot of fun," Krejcikova, ranked No. 33 in singles and No. 7 (formerly No. 1) in doubles, told reporters. "I'm just really going to enjoy it because I was never expecting to actually be this far during the tournament. I'm just going to have fun and enjoy and fight until the end."
   Pavlyuchenkova (pronounced Pav-loo-chen-ko-va), who played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis as the world's top junior at 15 in 2006, beat unseeded Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3.
   It took Pavlyuchenkova, who will turn 30 on July 2, 52 attempts to reach her first Grand Slam final and Krejcikova, 25, only five.
   "I had my own long special road," said Pavlyuchenkova, the first woman to play more than 50 majors before reaching her first final. "Everybody has different ways. I'm just happy I'm in the final. Trying to enjoy.
   "I think about (winning a Grand Slam tournament) all the time. Been thinking about it since I was a junior, since I was a little kid, since I started playing tennis. That's what you're playing for. That's what you want. It's been there in my head forever."
  Krejcikova also will play in the doubles semifinals with countrywoman Katerina Siniakova on Friday. They won the French Open and Wimbledon in 2018.
   ATP Tour — Taking advantage of a creampuff draw, Sam Querrey reached his first quarterfinal since October 2019. The 33-year-old San Francisco native, playing a qualifier for the second straight match, beat James Duckworth of Australia 6-4, 7-6 (7) in the Mercedes Cup on grass in Stuttgart, Germany.
   In the first round of doubles, German wild cards Andre Begemann and Dustin Brown edged third-seeded Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) of Japan 6-4, 3-6 [10-8].
   ATP Challenger Tour — In the doubles quarterfinals of the $52,080 Orlando (Fla.) Open on hardcourts, Darian King of Barbados and Jason Kubler of Australia downed 22-year-old wild cards Oliver Crawford of Spartanburg, S.C., and Sam Riffice, a native of Sacramento, Calif., 6-4, 7-6 (4).

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