NEW YORK, NY, USA - Denisa Allertova had just stunned the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd with a decisive defeat of former World No.1 Ana Ivanovic, effectively ending her career at the 2016 US Open as the 2008 French Open champion would announce her retirement at the end of the year.
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The big-hitting Allertova spoke barely above a whisper in the small interview room to which she'd been assigned, unable to remember specific points from the match, particularly when pressed about Ivanovic's first set lead.
Her prevailing emotion was relief, not that she had beaten a big name on one of the game's biggest stages, but that she could share it with then-boyfriend Jan Satral, who had qualified for the main draw of the men's event earlier that week.
"I had luck today, and his support," she said at the time, wearing a four-leaf clover necklace. "It’s better right now because I’m here with him. He won his first round yesterday in five sets, so everything's amazing."
The two tied the knot outside Prague in early August, and exhausted as Allertova was after a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 win over Ankita Raina, she was excited to recall her wedding.
"I was a little nervous about the weather because the day before, the radar said it would rain the whole day," she said as she strolled from Court 16. "You prepare four months for one day and for it to have rained would have been terrible. I was so nervous, and when I woke up, I didn’t want to even see the weather outside.
"It ended up being amazing because it was a little cloudy, but it was mostly sunny and everything was so beautiful. We enjoyed every moment with our friends and family. It was a nice place, and we had a nice party after."
Allertova has earned wins over the likes of Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, and Elina Svitolina, and reached the fourth round last year's Australian Open before a back injury took her off tour for six months.
Playing with a protected ranking, she reached an ITF Pro Circuit final in Prague at the end of July, and will next face Priscilla Hon, the Qualifying tournament's No.25 seed, for a berth in the main draw - her first at any major tournament in over a year.
"I played four times here, or something like that. I have good memories here, especially with my now-husband. It’s nice to be here again, even if I’m in qualies, because there’s tough opponents in every round. I’m really glad to be here again, trying to fight through every match, and we’ll see."
Striking a clean, flat ball, Allertova emerged victorious against a frustrated Raina for her second straight three-set win of the week, having also rallied from a set down to defeat American Reese Brantmeier.
"It was like ping pong, and whoever could hit the last shot over the net would win! It was tough but in my head, I was trying to stay calm, fight, and focus on every point. I was just hoping it would be my day. After I won the second set, I felt better, but she didn’t give me anything, fighting as much as I was.
"It was point after point, and I managed to do it, so I’m very happy I won because it was a tough match for me."
Allertova plays Hon on Friday.