Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Barbora, you’ve beaten the world No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1. Doesn’t get any better than that. How are you feeling right now?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, I feel great. I think I show my best tennis this week. I’m really happy with the way how I played, how I was able to, I mean, play my tennis but also hold the nerves, just enjoy everything that was happening during this week on the court.
Yeah, I mean, it was a big match.
THE MODERATOR: Who would like to start.
Q. When you’re feeling your best on the court, what is it that gives you the sense you’re playing well?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I’m not missing and I’m playing winners. I think that’s what I start feeling. Okay, this is the game, and I have to just keep going, just trying to stay aggressive and just go the right direction.
Q. You were close to losing earlier in the tournament. Does that free you up when you come out of a situation like that?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Definitely, yes. I mean, that match that got really close, I almost lost in the second round, I mean, it gave me confidence. Definitely did.
I think from there on, I was just starting to play every single game a better tennis.
Q. You had some nice words on Iga on court. Could you talk a little bit about why you find her so inspiring…
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: She’s No. 1. She has more than 10,000 points. She’s winning everything. She had amazing streak last year. I mean, this year also. Last week she played amazing. This week I saw her matches, she was in a really good shape, a really good form.
It’s great if I get opportunity to practice with her because she’s just so dedicated to tennis. She gives every single time 100%.
I mean, it’s amazing that in such a young age she has mind, like, really clear for what she wants, she’s able to achieve that. I have so much respect for her, as I already said it on the court.
I mean, to me, she is just a big motivation. She’s just a big motivation. Like I see what she’s doing and, I mean, I want to do the same thing.
Q. What does this win do for you going ahead this year, coming so early in the season?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I mean, it’s definitely going to be… It’s nice. It’s always nice to win a tournament, especially such a big tournament also in Dubai. I was here in finals couple years ago. It’s a tournament that everything started for me in singles.
Very, very special place. Definitely I’m going to have this in my mind throughout the season. I will just try to get better again, try to get to these finals and these big matches which I love.
Q. There were some amazing shots you played, especially on the backhand. Which one stood out for you?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I have no idea. I have no idea.
I mean, there were so many close games and so many close situations, when it was 30-All, deuce, one point here, one point there, break points here, there.
I mean, it’s tough to pick just one moment.
Q. Regarding doubles, you were saying Iga is an inspiration. She was also speaking about the reason she stopped playing doubles was because she wanted to focus on her singles. Will we see a shift on your part?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, I mean, I understand why she’s not playing. I understand because, I mean, when she’s winning all the tournaments, it’s tough. I have to say that I’m not yet in that stage of winning all the tournaments on the tour (smiling). It’s a very long way to go.
I definitely love doubles. I just love playing. I really enjoy it. I mean, so far I want to keep going in both categories, just try to do my best.
Q. (Question regarding strategy and tactics.)
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, I mean, today was a different match, different conditions, different everything. I think I chose the right strategy. I think I was doing what I should have been doing. I think I started really well. I think it was really important that I got it.
I felt that, yeah, I was getting the chances to beat her, and I’m really happy that I did.
Q. For those people who don’t follow tennis very closely, they watch you play this week, they may wonder why you are not in the top three.
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Why? Because I was injured for four months last year. That’s why I’m not in top three. That’s the reason.
Q. You joined an exclusive group of players who have managed to beat the top three in the same tournament. Only five players: Steffi, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Aryna Sabalenka, now you. What does it mean to you to be part of that group?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: It’s a huge privilege. It’s a huge privilege. Yeah, I mean, I’m not really following that much, these things. I try to focus on tennis and on my performance.
But definitely, I mean, it’s a big achievement and I think it’s going to give me a lot of confidence that I can play with the best ones.
Q. You mentioned you were injured. You’re back up to No. 16. Did you have a plan in your mind of when you wanted to try to get back in the top 10?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, not really. Definitely last year was really tough, especially for being out for so long. I really couldn’t find my game till the end of the season. Then the end of the season I got injured.
Again, during the off-season, I actually started off Christmas playing tennis, I didn’t start before that. I felt like, I mean, the beginning of the season it was actually a miracle wherever I got. I felt like with just me playing and practicing, being healthy, that I can achieve a big things.
I mean, I’m really happy that I’m here right now with this trophy and that I can celebrate it tonight. Yeah, I mean, I hope I’m going to get soon where I belong.
Q. You have a good record in finals: six out of seven wins.
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Cool (smiling).
Q. Does the mentality in a final switch into a different gear? How do you explain that good record?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, I love to play on the big stages. I enjoy it so much. I love to play big matches. I love challenges. When there is somebody that is really tough, I just love to go out there and see where I am, if I can beat this player, if I cannot beat this player. It just gives me extra, extra push.
I mean, with Iga, when you play with Iga, you have to suffer, otherwise you’re not going to win because she’s everywhere. She plays great shots. She likes to play long rallies. So you have to suffer.
I don’t mind that (smiling).
Q. You watch a lot of tennis. Do you do it for pure enjoyment or analytics?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, I love tennis, so I love watching it. I love all the matches. I watch the women’s match, but also the men’s matches.
I mean, in some of these matches I can learn a lot of things. Also I just go there because I love watching tennis and it’s better than, I don’t know, sitting or laying down in a bed just doing nothing.
Yeah, I love tennis since very young age. It was always my passion. When I have this opportunity to actually watch it live, to see all these girls that are top 10 and top five, they play against each other, I just love that. I enjoy it so much.
Q. Have you always been watching and…
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I’ve always been doing that. I did it for doubles a lot. Doubles, yeah, that’s how it is. You are not really following me there, so that’s sad, but that’s okay.
I mean, since I started to play well in singles, I played 2020 in Prague, so I was there, then in Ostrava, then French Open 2020. I was always doing it. I always loved watching tennis, just going there, just see the girls, how they play, what they do, and also just to enjoy the tennis.
Yeah, I’ve been doing it since then. Just now it’s more visible because you guys are stalking (smiling).
Q. Is that where your creative strategies are coming from, watching the other players?
BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, I think it’s more my game style because I think I have just so many plans that I can show up because I feel when I was young, they teach me well back home. They showed me pretty much all the groundstrokes and everything.
I think, like, I can play anything on court. It just helps. It helps that, I mean, since a very young age I have this advantage.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports