Andy Murray fumes at ‘brutal error’ as Barbora Krejcikova reaches French Open final

Barbora Krejcikova celebrates

Barbora Krejcikova saved a match point in one of the French Open’s most dramatic semi-finals to beat Maria Sakkari and set up a final clash with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Czech Krejcikova becomes the fourth unseeded finalist in the last five years at Roland Garros after a 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 victory that lasted three hours and 18 minutes and was dripping in tension throughout.

The 25-year-old saved a match point at 3-5 in the deciding set before finally taking her fifth chance when she coolly guided a backhand winner down the line.

“I always wanted to play a match like this,” she said. “Such a challenging match where we both had our chances. We’ve both been playing so well and only one can win. Even if I lost today I would have been very proud of myself because I was fighting and I think that’s the most important thing.”

After thanking her supporters in the stands, Krejcikova also paid tribute to the influence of the late Jana Novotna, who coached her before the former Wimbledon champion’s death from cancer in 2017 aged just 49.

“Also Jana Novotna from upstairs,” said Krejcikova, choking back tears. “She was really looking after me. I really miss her and I really want to thank her. It’s really important to me to say this out loud.”

The rallies were so tense at times in the third set that both seemed barely able to hit the ball but Krejcikova is the less emotional, more solid player, and in the end that proved the difference.

Sakkari saved three match points at 6-7, and the drama then hit new heights when Krejcikova thought she had taken her fourth chance two games later only for the umpire to decide Sakkari’s shot had clipped the line – a decision contradicted by HawkEye, which is used by TV companies but not the tournament.

It inspired former world No.1 Andy Murray to vent his annoyance at the ruling on Twitter as he stated:

In comparison, Pavlyuchenkova’s 7-5 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek was almost routine.

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