Barbora Krejcikova feels she is part of the Big Four in women’s tennis – ‘I just don’t get the credit’

Shahida Jacobs
Barbora Krejcikova and Iga Swiatek after a match

The rise of Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka over the past few months has led to talk of a Big Three in women’s tennis as the pair are challenging Iga Swiatek for top honours, but Barbora Krejcikova feels it should be a Big Four as she is very much part of the conversation.

Swiatek was no doubt the dominant player on the WTA Tour in 2022 as she won eight tournaments – including the French Open and US Open – and was the clear No 1. Rybakina, though, also had some success last year as she won Wimbledon.

Swiatek has successfully defended her Qatar Open this year, but she hasn’t had things her own way so far in 2023 as Sabalenka won the Australian Open while Rybakina won the Indian Wells Open last week.

Rybakina defeated Swiatek in the semi-final and Sabalenka in the final en route to lifting the title in Indian Wells and many believe there is now a Big Three in women’s tennis.

However, Krejcikova has also put her hand up over the past few months and feels she should also be included in the discussions.

“When I read something on social media, it’s about Iga, Aryna, and Elena – I’m not really there,” she told WTA Insider.

“What else should I do? How should I prove it again?

“This week, again I’m here and I’m going to prove it again so that I get into this Top 3. I want to be mentioned as well. I want to be recognized as well because I think I deserve it. I’ve had a lot of success on the tour and I just don’t get the credit.”

The 27-year-old struggled with injury during the first half of the 2022 season, but she is now back to her best.

Krejcikova won the 2021 French Open and rose to a career-high No 2 in early 2022, but she then picked up with a right-arm injury and missed several tournaments, resulting in her slipping outside the top 40.

After initially struggling for form on her return, the Czech started to make progress by the end of the year and won back-to-back titles at the Tallinn Open and Ostrava Open, handing world No 1 Swiatek only her second loss in a final during her win in Ostrava.

Krejcikova again got the better of Swiatek in the Dubai Tennis Championships final in February this year and she is now back up to No 13 in the WTA Rankings.

She added: “It’s a big motivation. I don’t want to be forgotten somewhere in the shade of these three big players. They are playing well and are playing great, but I feel I’m playing well as well.

“I feel like I deserve the recognition from the media and I’m not getting it. I guess I just have to win more matches and prove to everybody that I’m there as well.”