French Open 2021 women's final: Barbora Krejcikova tops Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for first Grand Slam title
For the sixth straight year, a first-time Grand Slam champion was crowned in Paris
Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic is the 2021 French Open champion after defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, in the women's final in Paris. It's Krejcikova's first career Grand Slam singles title. Krejcikova, 25, and Pavlyuchenkova, 29, were both playing in their first Grand Slam final.
The unseeded Krejcikova came into this year's French Open unseeded but with momentum. Krejcikova won the women's singles title at Strasbourg, a clay-court primer tournament for the French Open, and with Saturday's championship victory, now owns a 12-match win streak.
After losing the opening game of the final with two double faults, Krejcikova came roaring back to win six straight games. The 31st-seed Pavlyuchenkova, who reached a Grand Slam final for the first time in 52 major appearances, struck back and forced a decider. Pavlyuchenkova hit 10 winners to take the second set, 6-2. In the third set, Krejcikova broke for a 2-1 lead but then had to fight from a 3-3 tie. Krejcikova hit eight straight points, including two consecutive winners to gain the 4-3 lead of the decider.
In the eighth game of the third set, Krejcikova missed out on a pair of match points. Pavlyuchenkova saved another two championship points in the ninth game to make it 5-4 before Krejcikova served for her spot in tennis history. Krejcikova finally clinched the championship match when a Pavlyuchenkova groundstroke went long.
With notable absences (Naomi Osaka) injuries (Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty, Petra Kvitova) and upsets (Serena Williams) on the women's draw this year, Krejcikova and Pavlyuchenkova highlighted the depth in the women's game. This is the sixth straight year that the women's singles champion at the French Open was a first-time Grand Slam singles champion:
- 2016: Garbine Muguruza
- 2017: Jelena Ostapenko
- 2018: Simona Halep
- 2019: Ashleigh Barty
- 2020: Iga Swiatek
- 2021: Krejcikova
Widely regarded as a doubles specialist, Krejcikova broke through on the singles side this year. This year's French Open was only her fifth main-draw singles appearance at a Grand Slam. Krejcikova will look to sweep the women's singles and doubles titles when her and Czech partner Katerina Siniakova take on Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the women's doubles final on Sunday.
A doubles victory Sunday would be her third Grand Slam women's doubles title and second French Open title. She's also won the past three mixed doubles finals at the Australian Open.
Road to the Final:
R1: def. Christina McHale, 6-4, 6-0
R2: def. Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-2, 6-3
R3: def. No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka, 6-4, 2-6, 6-0
R4: def. No. 15 Victoria Azarenka, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
QF: def. No. 21 Elena Rybakina, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2, 9-7
SF: def. Tamara Zidansek, 7-5, 6-3
R1: def. Kristyna Pliskova, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
R2: def. No. 32 Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-2, 6-3
R3: def. No. 5 Elina Svitolina, 6-3, 6-2
R4: def. Sloane Stephens, 6-2, 6-0
QF: def. No. 24 Coco Gauff, 7-6, 6-3
SF: def. No. 17 Maria Sakkari, 7-5, 4-6, 9-7
The 2021 French Open men's final is on Sunday, and Novak Djokovic will be going for his second title in Paris (first since 2016) against 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas, who's playing in his first career Grand Slam final. Djokovic took down 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in an epic semifinal match to advance to the championship. Tsitsipas defeated the sixth seeded Alexander Zverev in a five-set semifinal.
CBS Sports had you covered with all the live highlights, updates and more from the final. You can find all of that in the live feed below.
The unseeded 25-year-old Krejcikova wins her first Grand Slam title. Final score: 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Krejcikova double faults on championship point. It's 40-30 in the third set.
Pavlyuchenkova hangs on. It's 5-4 in the third set. Krejcikova has a chance to win the match on serve.
Krejcikova is one game away from her first Grand Slam title. 5-3 lead, Pavlyuchenkova on serve.
Krejcikova breaks Pavlyuchenkova to take a 4-3 lead.
Pavlyuchenkova evens this back up at 2-2 in the deciding set.
1-1 in the third set.
Here's how each finalist has fared in third sets this season:
After an injury delay where Pavlyuchenkova received treatment on her left thigh and knee, she comes back to close out the second set with a backhand crosscourt winner. It's going to be a three-setter to decide this year's champion.
Pavlyuchenkova leads 5-1 and has a chance to even up this match at two sets apiece.
The veteran Pavlyuchenkova is feeling it. She's won three straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the second set. Knocked off six winners too.
Pavlyuchenkova gets a break and extends her second set lead. 2-0.
Pavlyuchenkova holds for the first time in this final. 1-0, second set.
Krejcikova takes the opening set, 6-1.
Four straight games for Krejcikova, and she is closing in on this first set. 4-1.
It's 1-1 in the first set as both of these first-time Grand Slam finalists try to settle in.