Krejcikova, Ruud continue stellar seasons

  • Matt Trollope

Barbora Krejcikova and Casper Ruud were among the title winners on tour at the weekend, a continuation of their excellent form in 2021.

There were also tournament victories for Kevin Anderson, Pablo Carreno Busta, Tamara Zidansek and Yulia Putintseva to conclude what was a dense week of tour-level action, on all three surfaces, across the globe.

Krejcikova triumphed on hard courts in her home country of Czech Republic, winning the WTA 250 event in Prague with a 6-2 6-0 over compatriot Tereza Martincova.

She did not drop a set all week in the Czech capital. 

Krejcikova has now won three of the past four tournaments she has entered – including Roland Garros last month – and has won 20 of her past 21 matches. She is also in second place in the 2021 points race to the WTA Finals.

“I felt I really have to come here and play my best every single day, just so they (Czech fans) can see me and see that I'm real. I had to give it back to them somehow,” said Krejcikova, who has risen to a career-high ranking of No.11.

“Normally, if it wasn't in the Czech Republic, I wouldn't play any tournament (this week) because I just felt really tired. 

“But they all wanted to see me. That was pretty much my power – the people came to see me, and I didn't want to disappoint them."

Like Krejcikova, Zidansek also performed brilliantly at Roland Garros, progressing to her first Grand Slam semifinal in Paris.

She improved her 2021 record on clay to 21-6 with her victory at the tournament in Lausanne, Switzerland, beating France’s Clara Burel 4-6 7-6(5) 6-1 in the final.

Tamara Zidansek (R) holds her trophy after beating Clara Burel (L) in the WTA Lausanne final. (Getty Images)

It is Zidansek’s first career WTA title and boosts her ranking 13 places to a career-best No.37.

"Semifinals of Roland Garros showed me that my game is good enough to compete with the best," said Zidansek, who trailed 4-2 in the tiebreak.

"I’m really happy with the way I played there, and it just showed that I can be there."

The other WTA victor at the weekend was Putintseva, who triumphed on clay in Budapest, Hungary thanks to a 6-4 6-0 win over Anhelina Kalinina.

It is the second title of her career, and first in two years.

In men’s action, Ruud was victorious on clay at the ATP 250 event in Bastad, Sweden – his second title of the season after winning in Geneva in May.

The world No.16 beat Federico Coria 6-3 6-3 in the final, improving his record in 2021 to 27-9, including 20-5 on clay. 

“It was an incredible week, maybe the best week of my life,” Ruud said. “It is an incredible feeling playing here in Bastad with the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish support. There is nothing like that home crowd feeling.”

Also on clay, Carreno Busta captured the biggest title of his career at the ATP 500 event in Hamburg.

Pablo Carreno Busta celebrates his victory in the Hamburg final, a result seeing him capture the biggest title of his career. (Getty Images)

The Spaniard, ranked 13th, won his second title of the season, and sixth of his career, with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Serb Filip Krajinovic in the final.

Meanwhile, Anderson enjoyed a resurgence on the lawns of Newport, beating American Jenson Brooksby in the Hall of Fame Open final.

The former world No.5 and two-time Grand Slam finalist beat rising star Brooksby 7-6(8) 6-4 to win his first ATP title in two-and-a-half years.

“It’s been a pretty tough run with some injuries. But to be back here at the International Tennis Hall of Fame with such history, this couldn’t be a better week for me to start, hopefully, my comeback," said Anderson, who had slipped in the rankings to 113th. 

"I’m very motivated to get back. But it all starts with each match, and I was able to really grind it out.”