She fought against the enthusiastically and very unpleasantly playing qualifier on the court for almost two and a half hours. In the end, however, Karolína Plíšková fulfilled the role of the favorite and advanced to the second round of the French Open. However, she could not be satisfied with the performance.
Karolína Plíšková in the first round of the French Open. | Video: Reuters
“It was super hard,” the Czech tennis player admitted immediately after the match in an interview with French legend Marion Bartoli.
“I couldn’t show my game, on the contrary, my opponent played an excellent match. But just such matches can move me further,” she added Philipp Chatrier in the central court.
She continued the self-critical evaluation at the press conference.
“We’d rather not talk about the level of my game. I think there is a lot of room for improvement. But I’m in the next round and that counts,” she said, admitting that 172nd world player Majar Sharif of Egypt surprised her with her performance.
“I didn’t know much about her, but she was definitely better than I expected. She played smart, had nothing to lose and gained confidence after a successful qualification. She did well in shorts and used her forehand and second kick service well,” she praised her opponent.
She also helped herself with non-traditional higher balls, which jumped 186 centimeters high Plíšková somewhere around her head.
“Due to the slower conditions, it was no longer easy to kill balls, and especially when I hunted them so high. She played a bit of an ugly game on me,” said the Czech Republic, then explained: “She didn’t leave me many balls to feel good and comfortable.”
In the first set she did not change a total of eight setballs and in the final tie-break she lost the lead 6: 3. No wonder her nerves spread in all directions. At one point, Plíšková even threw a rocket and earned a warning.
After the match, she admitted that the thoughts of shamefully falling out in the first round still came to her mind.
“You can’t avoid thinking, your mind goes your own way, especially mine,” laughed the 28-year-old tennis player. In the second set, which she clearly won 6: 2, she still gained peace.
“I started playing a little better and most of all I knew I wouldn’t give up. That’s the only thing you can always do. Trust yourself no matter how awfully you play. There’s always a chance against such players, there’s a chance for them hard to close a match and play at such a level three whole sets, “she explained.
The experience was on her side, which was confirmed at the end of the match. “But until the end, she gave me a hard time, fought and played well. I’m happy to move on.”
The left thigh, due to which she did not finish the final of the previous tournament in Rome, is still not one hundred percent.
“But fine, I didn’t think about it. I’d say no one’s here one hundred percent. It certainly wasn’t a reason why I didn’t play well,” Plíšková did not look for excuses.
In the second round, he will face the winner of Roland Garros from 2017, the Latvian Jelena Ostapenková.
“We played a couple of good matches and a couple of weird matches together,” Plíšková reminded her mutual balance, in which she leads 3: 2 in matches.
“She’s like this up and down, but she can play great. She’s dangerous from the baseline, she can give a lot of winners, but also mistakes. We’ll see what the conditions will be like on Thursday. And what the level of my game will be,” the world number four concluded.