Ten consecutive singles wins? Check. A fourth-round berth in your Wimbledon main draw debut? Check.
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova booked a spot in the fourth round of Wimbledon with a 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-5 win over Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova. Overcoming 56 unforced errors and her own frustrations, Krejcikova edged the former World No.11 in 2 hours and 30 minutes, in a match that saw her come from a break down three times in the first set.
"It was really tough today. I was really just battling with myself a lot, because I wasn't really feeling well," Krejcikova said.
"I really don't remember much what was happening. I was just there. I was just try to fight for every ball, and it was really up and down.
"At the end, when she missed the last ball, I was just extremely happy that it's over. I was really happy it's over."
Despite racking up 26 of her errors in the opener, Krejcikova saved her best tennis for when she needed it most in the tiebreak after trailing 2-0, 5-3 and 6-5 in the set. Twice serving for the set, Sevastova never reached set point despite her leads.
One break decided both the second and third sets, with Sevastova securing the decisive one that sent the match to the in the sixth game. Sevastova never faced break point against her serve in the middle set - and aside from one 30-40 chance Krejcikova had in the second game of the decider, both women largely held serve with ease for much of the decider.
Krejcikova faced deuce just once - coming out of the 2-2 game unscathed - and ultimately sealed victory with a point that showcased the variety and all-court comfort both players possessed throughout the match. Staying in the point with a defensive lob that landed just inside Sevastova's baseline, Krejcikova found her way to net and Sevastova's attempt at the backhand pass found the net.
Winning the match in the forecourt was a microcosm of Krejcikova's success in the match overall: while the Czech racked up 46 winners to balance out her miscues, she also went 34-for-43 in the match on points when she came forward.
Up next, Krejcikova will face World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, who overcame her doubles partner, Katerina Siniakova, to close out play on Centre Court on Saturday, 6-3, 7-5.
"All of this, you know, the way that I fought today, all of this is just extremely good achievement so far. It's perfect result as my debut. Being [in the] second week, you know, I didn't expect it. So I didn't expect anything of this that is happening," Krejcikova said.
"Just playing Ash, I know her for long time. I remember when she was 15, winning juniors here. I played, as well. I know her for so long. I actually like to watch her, because she gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration to just work hard.
"We can see that she deserves to be here and she deserves to be No. 1, because she is just very talented and she works hard. You know, she just deserves everything that she's achieving.
"For me, playing her or actually playing my doubles partner, both are going to be difficult, and I'm just going to enjoy it. That's why I'm here. That's what I want to do, and that's how I want to approach everything... I'm just always telling myself, 'Okay, is it really -- am I awake? Like, Is this really happening?'
"I can see I'm waking up every single morning, so it's actually happening. I'm just really grateful."
Barty needed 97 minutes to see off Siniakova in the pair's first career meeting, as she and Krejcikova will also play for the first time. From 2-2 in the opening set, after both players saved break points on serve, Barty won seven of the next eight games to open up a 6-3, 3-0 lead.
Immediately getting a break back, Siniakova stayed in the match on serve from there, and extended her stay on Centre Court by breaking Barty in the 10th game after saving a match point. Digging out of 0-40 in her next service game, the Czech had a chance to take her first lead of the match, but the Aussie reset to break for a fourth time to seal victory.
"...Another second week of a Slam. It's always exciting. I feel like the consistency for me over the last couple of years, two years, not including 2020, has been good. It's been nice to be putting myself deeper into these tournaments at the Slams," Barty said.
"On Monday it will be no different. It's a new challenge against Barbora, who's obviously played some exceptional tennis over the last couple months. Another challenge I look forward to. Nice to be able to put myself in this position again to try to go that one step further.
"She's had an exceptional last couple months. I have played her plenty of times in the doubles court. Never on the singles court. It's a new experience for both of us, some new challenges that for sure will force some of my best tennis. I'm looking forward to that challenge. I'm looking forward to trying to figure out her game, kind of piece together the puzzle that she presents.
"I'll sit down with Tyzz [coach Craig Tyzzer] over the next 24 hours or so and try and work out how we try and tackle it. Then we approach the match like we do every other match. Go out there and try to execute, have fun, and see what happens."