Seville (from our correspondent) – After the afternoon practice, she pulled on the team tracksuit, sat down in the press room and for twenty minutes talked intently not only about the Billie Jean King Cup final, but also about the hectic end to a successful season and injury concerns.
The team already makes fun of your stamina, that you’re like the Terminator. How do you like it?
I haven’t heard it yet this year (laughs). I’m just glad that the girls see it that way. I think I’ll leave everything there. I certainly have an advantage in that flights and time shifts are not a problem for me. It is very lucky. However, I always like to represent the Czech Republic and I’m glad that I’m healthy and I can be the Terminator…
You played the tournaments in Hong Kong and China to the max, then Cancún and then Sevilla. How do you feel?
It’s certainly not easy. But I have to say that I feel good. After the doubles with the Swiss women, I was quite tired, my back felt. I slept and in the morning I was fresh. I don’t want to shout anything, but everything is good.
A specialist in American women, that sounds good too, doesn’t it?
I will never forget especially the 2018 final with the USA in front of a full O2 arena. It’s a shame that the format changed and we lost this. I have not experienced such an atmosphere at any other tournament. People were chasing me, standing behind me, I was terribly nervous because I wanted to prove to them that I could do it. When I failed, they held me up. I am grateful to have been able to experience something like this.
Then you won both singles games, you won the decisive point against Sofia Keninová, who you escaped from match points. Now you could have a replay in Spain.
American women are spoiled for choice. But we also have a great line-up, we have a lot of girls in the top 30. Whoever starts can beat them. It depends, of course, on how it all comes together.
Against the USA, you are playing decisive matches for the second time in a row already in the group, isn’t that a shame?
What to say about it. Looks like someone messed with it again. (laughs) Unfortunately, we have to accept it as it is. We say it’s a tough group, but they’ll have it all the same. They’re not excited about coming at us. But it can be turned around. They want something too, something is expected of them too. It’s not easy for them either.
After Thursday’s match against the Swiss women, the American women may be more tired.
They can. But whoever starts on Thursday does not have to start on Friday. They certainly have something to repay us.
You haven’t won the trophy yet in the new competition system. Is that a big motivation for you right now?
We were one of the few countries that has all quality players. Now it is built in such a way that it is enough to have one great tennis player in the team. And when you play doubles without advantages and a super tiebreak, anything can happen. You don’t have to have the whole team stomping, just one to hold it. And we were one of the few countries when our number two was able to beat the number one of the opponents.
With Bára Krejčíková, you don’t really need this gam system without benefits, do you?
It reduces the differences. So why isn’t it played as a single? Anything can really happen.
However, the single end of the year was definitely successful for you. One week the final in Hong Kong, the next a triumph in Nanchang.
We didn’t expect it at all. I fought to stay in the hundred. But I already felt good in America, but the American line didn’t work out for me. I was quite upset about it. But everyone supported me and I’m very happy that I showed it at the end of the tournaments.
The title match with Maria Bouzková was enough for blood. You don’t usually see something like this.
I was already heartbroken after Hong Kong and I certainly did not expect that the next tournament would turn out so well for me. I didn’t feel 100%, but I had a good day and it helped that I had the first game off and had a little bit of a chance to rest. I think Maruška could play the final for another three hours. The court, the climate, the whole thing was slow there was a lot to blame. When I arrived via Hong Kong, it was a radical change, because Hong Kong, on the other hand, was terribly fast. It was completely upside down there.
You didn’t win the women’s doubles tournament, but you will definitely remember this season fondly, right? You also won on grass in Bad Homburg.
It was definitely a great season. Even with how she didn’t develop well in the beginning and I was injured with my wrist. When I came back for the first time, it still hurt that I couldn’t play. It was long. I struggled with it, it didn’t look very good. When I look back, I am very satisfied and I hope that it will continue like this and that I will finally not miss the entire clay season.
The worst feeling I have is that they didn’t quite figure out what it was about. I said that if you break your arm, at least you know the procedure you should do, how you should rehabilitate. I still can’t say what I did with it.
Now that you’ve been doing so well in singles, do you still have the same motivation in doubles?
For sure, I like it a lot, I enjoy it. In tennis, you are always alone, and doubles is the only opportunity where you can rely on someone else. I hope that I will continue to do well in it.
The end of the season went well for your partner Tomáš Macháč, who won two challengers and finally moved deep into the top 100. How did you experience it?
We wish each other a lot, we cheer for each other. It’s great that we both did so well and hopefully it will continue to do so.