The Czech Women’s Tennis Revolution
It seems like anytime you turn on the Tennis Channel there’s a Czech player on TV fighting it out against somebody at some tournament worldwide.
I don’t know if that’s always been the case, but now it certainly feels that way. I took a closer look at the WTA rankings to see if I was hallucinating. Turns out I was not! They have five players in the top 50, two of which are in the top 10, and 8 overall in the top 100. That’s more than every country out there apart from Russia (9 players) and the USA (16 players). Also, consider that the population of the Czech Republic is a fraction of both Russia and the USA.
So, how does a little country of just 10 million people produce so many phenomenal women’s players? Surely it must be tradition. After all, this is the country that produced Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova, two of the greatest tennis players that ever lived, and who between the two won dozens of Grand Slam titles. The tradition continued with Petr Korda and Jana Novotna in the 90s. Although they weren’t as prolific as Lendl and Navratilova, they also became Grand Slam Champions. Finally, in the 2000s we have had the pleasure of watching Petra Kvitova win Slams and most recently, Barbora Krecjikova.
All that success has been magnificent. However, looking further back, one can argue that their success was initially inspired by Czech legend Jan Kodes. Jan Kodes won two back-to-back French Open titles in the early seventies (70 and 71) and a Wimbledon title (73). Nevertheless, it is here and now that there seems to be an army of Czech women’s players. Let’s look a each of them.
Marie Bouzkova (93)
Her best result has been a semifinal appearance at the 2019 Canadian Open. She’s been as high as #46 in the world.
Katerina Siniakova (52)
Known primarily as a doubles specialist, she’s won three Grand Slam doubles titles. In singles, she’s not too shabby, routinely making third-round appearances at Grand Slams.
Tereza Martincova (53)
She’s having the best year of her career off the back of a finals appearance at the 2021 Prague Open, and solid performances at smaller tournaments this year.
Marketa Vondrousova (37)
Many will remember her run to the 2019 French Open final. She hasn’t come close to that performance; however, she’s showing some strong tennis as of late.
Karolina Muchova (26)
Muchova has two Wimbledon quarterfinals appearances and an Australian Open semifinal appearance. That’s some solid results.
Petra Kvitova (11)
Who can forget her two Wimbledon titles? She’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
Barbora Krejcikova (5)
She has now become a Czech legend by winning the French Open this year. The future looks bright for this youngster.
Karolina Pliskova (3)
Pliskova is the underperformer of the group. She’s been ranked as high as number one, but a grand slam has alluded her. She’s good enough to win one though, and there’s plenty of gas in the tank.
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