PRAGUE, Czech Republic - German qualifier Mona Barthel pulled off a dramatic comeback in the final of the J&T Banka Prague Open to take down local favorite Kristyna Pliskova and claim her first title since 2014.
Despite being down a set and a break against the Czech - who was looking to follow in her sister Kristina’s footsteps with a Prague win – Barthel still found some energy left in the tank to turn it around and win 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
“I still can’t believe it. It was such a long and tough week, especially today," Barthel said in her on-court interview. "I felt so exhausted and Kristyna played so well in the first set – I actually don’t know how I did it! I was just trying to fight and trying to keep playing and somehow I made it.
Barthel, a qualifier, had to play eight matches in eight days straight and the fatigue showed during the early stages of the match.
“I am completely exhausted,” she admitted. “Today I woke up and I was feeling so bad, I was like ‘No, come on, one more day?’
“But I don’t know how I managed the final, I think I just gave all my energy and tomorrow I will be completely wasted I guess.”
Due to Barthel’s long run in Prague she was forced to pull out of the Mutua Madrid Open, where she was set to play qualifying, and her next stop will be the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
“I would have played qualies in Madrid, so I couldn’t play it so my next tournament will be in Rome. But now I just will enjoy this one and have time to recover for the next. I’ll just enjoy this victory.”
More to follow…