Tennis: Barbora Krejcikova stuns world No. 1 Iga Swiatek to claim Ostrava title

Barbora Krejcikova celebrating her win at the WTA 500 Agel Open on Oct 9, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic - Barbora Krejcikova clinched a second successive WTA title with a stunning come-from-behind victory over world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the Ostrava final on Sunday.

The world No. 23 triumphed 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to add the Czech trophy to her victory in Tallinn last weekend.

Krejcikova's success snapped French and US Open champion Swiatek's 10-final win streak and gave the 26-year-old home player a fifth career singles title.

"It was a big match. We played amazingly. We gave an amazing show to the fans, so I'm really happy with that and with the way I have performed," said Krejcikova.

"It's a huge victory... It's one of the biggest matches that I ever played. The atmosphere was just very energetic and very unbelievable for both sides. It's really one of the top matches that I think I ever played in my life."

Swiatek, who had racked up her 60th win of the season on Saturday, went into Sunday's final having won both her previous meetings with Krejcikova.

The 21-year-old Pole won in straight sets on the hard courts of Miami last year before a three-set victory on the clay of Rome two months later.

On Sunday, 2021 French Open champion Krejcikova took the tough route to victory having trailed 5-1 in the opening set before battling back to claim the match in 3hr 16min.

For Swiatek, it was just her second career defeat in 12 finals, and first in three years but she had been two points from an eighth title of the season with Krejcikova serving at 30-30 in the 12th game of the second set.

"I was just telling myself to keep going," said Krejcikova. "She's a great champion. She's a great player, so I was expecting that she's not going to give it to me easy. So I was just like, 'Okay, keep going. It's going to be fine.

"You're going to get your chance. You're going to make it,' so that was my inner voice."

Krejcikova was unsure what exactly clicked for her but credited "a lot of work" for finding her top form again, having defeated Swiatek, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and world No. 3 Annett Kontaveit in the past two weeks.

"I always felt like it's there, it's just hiding. I didn't just forget all that I did last year. I still felt like it's there," she said. "I'm really pleased that everything that I went through and everything that happened, it changed me and gave me extra energy. I think I'm a different player, a different person. I'm really happy to be part of the big game again." AFP, REUTERS

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.