A triumph at Wimbledon usually means a premature end to the US Open in women’s tennis. But not in the case of Marketa Vondroušová. The Czech tennis player imitated the famous Serena Williams in New York.
The last time the famous Serena Williams was able to advance to the quarterfinals of the US Open less than two months after winning Wimbledon was in 2016.
After her, Garbiné Muguruza (4th round), Angelique Kerberová (3rd round), Simona Halepová (2nd round), Ashleigh Bartyová (3rd round) and Jelena Rybakinová (3rd round) successively failed when switching from grass to hard.
So far, Vondroušová has also demonstrated the difficult confirmation of a big result at the next Grand Slam.
She surprised herself a little with that. Returning to the court as a new Wimbledon champion, she felt an unpleasant nervousness.
Doubts gnawed at her about how she would follow up on this phenomenal success.
“I didn’t expect this, to be honest. I was in a very difficult position, there’s a lot of pressure. But I’m proud of the way I keep my cool, the way I continue my game. I am very grateful,” the 24-year-old Club I. ČLTK Prague exclaimed at a press conference.
She already had dried tears falling from her eyes a few dozen minutes ago.
During the demanding round of 16 against Payton Stearns, Vondroušová was tormented by pain in her hand, only pills saved her. After the match, however, she had to inform her friend Barbora Strýcová that she could not play doubles.
Heartbreaking images of crying Vondrous and consoling uncles went around the world.
“It’s very sad because it’s Bára’s last tournament. I cried, I told him I didn’t want to do it. It was a difficult decision. But health must come first and Bára understood me. I am grateful that she is by her side. me,” Vondroušová said.
Even before the tournament started, she had praised Strýcová.
She talked about how she always admired him, watched his matches, cheered for him during the Fed Cup and how Strýcová was always her mother’s favorite. But now she had to prioritize her own health, which had troubled her so much in recent years.
“I’ve had a lot of injuries and I don’t want to play with the others,” she said, complaining about the harder balls and demanding schedule.
She was scheduled to play the third round last in the day’s schedule and started the fourth round first. She didn’t even manage to work out on her day off and admitted that she hadn’t slept much in recent days.
Vondroušová knows she has to look out for herself. A year ago, after wrist surgery, she was not even in the world top 100, she was struggling to find her way back. She had to rebuild her broken confidence.
Today, she has risen to sixth place in the live rankings, become the Czech number one, a Wimbledon winner and a girl enjoying her second consecutive extraordinary run at the Grand Slam.
Williams was ultimately eliminated in the semi-finals in 2016 by Czech Karolína Plíšková. And another Czech-American duel now awaits Vondroušová. After Payton Stearns, with whom she lost the first set of the tournament, she will challenge the experienced hitter Madison Keys.
“Maddie is on a roll, we trained together before the tournament and she played very well. It will be a tough match, but anything can happen in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam. I will leave everything on the court,” said the native of Sokolov.
She will face Keys – the former world number seven and current seventeenth player in the world – for the first time in her career. Bookmakers are slightly favoring the American, probably due to the Czech’s health problems.
Vondroušová has won eleven consecutive Grand Slam matches, which has only been achieved by two tennis players in the last five years, today’s biggest stars, Iza Šwiateková and Aryna Sabalenková.
Czech fans can continue to dream of a bold dream: a purely domestic final at the US Open. Markéta Vondroušová and Karolína Muchová still need to win two matches to achieve this.
Press conference by Marketa Vondroušová. | Video: Youtube.com
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