“Most proud of my attitude on the court” – Linda Fruhvirtova ready for the fight and trusting the process

The 17-year-old Czech impresses in a straight sets win to make a successful Australian Open debut

Linda Fruhvirtova at the 2023 ASB Classic in Auckland Linda Fruhvirtova at the 2023 ASB Classic in Auckland Image Credit: Photosport / Panoramic

She may be only 17 but Linda Fruhvirtova, the youngest player in the world’s top 100, is a fighter. That’s the quality that she, and many others, picked as her biggest strength.

The Czech teen did not get a chance to show too much of that fight during her Australian Open debut – scoring a routine 6-0, 6-4 first round win over local wild card Jaimee Fourlis on Tuesday.

“The first match is always tricky. I’m glad I finished on time because they suspended the play, like, 20 minutes after. I’m happy to get through, and I’m pretty satisfied with my performance today,” the world No 82 said.

While she is six years younger than Fourlis, her higher ranking and pedigree made Fruhvirtova the favourite – a position she is not accustomed to yet on the pro tour but she managed with the expectations just fine.

“I think there’s always a little bit of pressure. Of course, I was kind of the favorite with the ranking and everything, but she was playing at home, and, you know, she knows the court. I believed in myself. I knew I did everything I could to perform well today, and, yeah, I just went for it,” the Czech teen said.

I never give up, and I just go and fight

Linda Fruhvirtova

Despite her young age, Fruhvirtova, who won her maiden WTA singles title in Chennai in September, is fast gaining a reputation of being a tough cookie – something she calls her biggest strength.

“I’m most proud of my attitude on the court and just the fighting spirit. I’ve always been a fighter on the court. I love competing. Every time I go out there, I just want to win. I want to do everything I can to get the win. Of course, you know, you lose some; you win some. But, definitely. I never give up, and I just go and fight,” she said.

“I think there’s a lot to improve still, which is good” – Fruhvirtova

Linda Fruhvirtova in Chennai
Linda Fruhvirtova in Chennai (Zuma/Panoramic)

In the months to come, Fruhvirtova, whose15-year-old sister Brenda qualified for the main draw and lost in the first round here on Monday, hopes to gain more experience and is learning to trust the process.

“I think there’s a lot to improve still, which is good, on the other hand. I’m pretty new on the tour, so I still have got to get some experiences against these older, stronger players. They’re stronger physically, so definitely work on my fitness still. I think my game is pretty good. Of course, you just want to keep making it better and better. But, I trust in the process, and we’ll see.”

Next up for the 17-year-old is another local favourite, Kimberly Birrell, who knocked out the 31st seed Kaia Kanepi, and then a possible third round showdown with second seed Ons Jabeur.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect it. I expected to be meet Kaia Kanepi, but I just played an Aussie and now, again. So, of course, she’s playing at home, and she wants to win, but so do I. I’m sure it’s going to be great match. I’m excited.”

Whatever happens, rest assured, the elder Fruhvirtova will be ready for the fight!!

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