Hlavackova & Hradecka Conquer Roland Garros
Published June 03, 2011 12:00
PARIS, France - Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka put the Czech Republic in the Grand Slam winner's circle for the first time since the 1990s on Friday, completing a dream run to their first major title at the French Open.
Having never even been to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam in nine previous attempts, the unseeded Czechs stormed all the way through this draw without even losing a set, taking out a slew of seeded teams along the way - Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, and finally Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina, who were the No.7 seeds at the clay court major.
"A Grand Slam title is a great, great thing," the 26-year-old Hradecka said after the match. "Not a lot of people have it, so it's something special."
"For me it's more something I always joked about - one year my friends got me a shelf with 'This is for Grand Slam trophies' written on it. I just put it under my bed, like what a silly joke," Hlavackova told reporters in press. "Today I realized I'll have something to put on it. It's great. It's something I will remember and everybody will remember. I wouldn't exchange it for anything."
Hlavackova and Hradecka now have five WTA-level titles as a team, although their first four tournaments together all came at the International level (Prague and Bad Gastein in 2008, Bad Gastein in 2009 and Brisbane in 2010).
The last Czech to win a Grand Slam title of any kind came at the 1998 US Open, when Jana Novotna partnered Switzerland's Martina Hingis to win the women's doubles; the last time an all-Czech team won a Grand Slam women's doubles title came in 1990 as Novotna and Helena Sukova won Wimbledon.
"I will definitely take all my family, my coach, and - if Lucie wants - I will take her too for a great dinner in one of the famous French restaurants," Hlavackova said. "We will just enjoy ourselves, relax a little bit and have a good time."
"For sure I'll come to celebrate," Hradecka added.