Indian Wells: Last September, Barbora Krejcikova played three ITF W25 events in the Czech Republic: Prague, Frydek Mistek and Prerov. In one month’s work, she won only five matches and a total of $1,752 – not even enough to make expenses.
When those Czech cities and results were recited Wednesday afternoon, Krejcikova interrupted.
“Eccchhh!” she said in an interview from Indian Wells. “Don’t remind me of that. I didn’t do well there. I don’t want to think about it anymore.”
And then Krejcikova, who Saturday makes her main draw debut at the BNP Paribas Open, proceeded to do more than just think about it. She talked through what became the turning point of her ascendant career.
It came after a loss in Prague and during the two-hour drive back home to Brno.
“To be extremely honest, I was really disappointed with myself,” Krejcikova said. “I was on my phone with my coach (Ales Kartus). And I was just telling him like how bad, how I felt about the way I lost and how bad my attitude was.
“And I was like, 'I don’t want to have this feeling ever again.’ So we started to talk about how things can get better. Yeah, from there I was slowly trying to put the things that we were talking about into the practices and into the matches. It all happened in two weeks.”
“No,” Krejcikova said. “It wasn’t really about tennis. It was more about my attitude. To be more positive, to be nicer to myself. Not to put too much pressure on myself. It was something that was holding me back.”
In an era when the youngsters are asserting themselves – three teenagers have won majors in the past three years, from Bianca Andreescu (2019 US Open) to Iga Swiatek (2020 French Open) to Emma Raducanu (2021 US Open) – Krejcikova feels like a late bloomer.
She could care less. What’s her proudest achievement?
“Everything,” Krejcikova said. “Like it’s unreal. I don’t know, it’s really hard to actually understand where I am, because I don’t feel that way."