Krejikova downs Ostapenko in battle of past French Open champs

Barbora Krejcikova reached her first Wimbledon semifinal under blue skies on Wednesday with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over Latvian 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko in the battle of past French Open champions.

The Czech 31st seed kept her composure from the back of the court to force her adversary into 35 unforced errors across the match, as Ostapenko’s bid for a second Grand Slam title since her first in 2017 unraveled on Court One.

Krejcikova won her first Grand Slam title on the red clay at Roland Garros in 2021, but never had put together a five-match winning streak on grass until now.

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“There have been many doubts from the inside, but also from outside — from the outside world,” said Krejcikova, who arrived at the All England Club with a record of just 6-9 in 2024. “But I’m super happy than I never gave up and that I’m standing here right now.”

Ostapenko, 27, had power in her serve but struggled to place it, landing less than 50% of her first serves during the opening set.

Krejcikova, the French Open champion in 2021, broke in the third game and went on to clinch the opener.

Ostapenko rallied to break her adversary in the second set and open a 4-1 lead. However, mistakes once again dogged her game, and Krejcikova won four games to go up 5-4.

The match went to a tiebreaker, and a brilliant crosscourt forehand from Krejcikova found the far line to give her a mini-break from which she went on to close out the match, sealing her first victory over the Latvian in their four most recent encounters.

Krejcikova will face 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the semifinals.

Rybakina also enjoyed the rare sighting of the sun, but it gave her no inclination to linger longer than necessary on Centre Court, as she ended Elina Svitolina’s quarterfinal challenge with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat.

Rybakina ended her win with her seventh ace and improved to 19-2 at Wimbledon in four appearances.

“Definitely, I have an aggressive style of game,” Rybakina said. “I have a huge serve, so it’s a big advantage.”

Her match lasted 1 hour, 1 minute — shorter than the second set alone of Krejcikova against Ostapenko, who at one point ordered her coach to leave the stands.

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