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Defending champion Krejcikova shrugs off fitness concerns: “I’m healthy right now”

The Czech has not played since February due to an elbow injury

Barbora Krejcikova at Cincinnati in 2021 ZM / Panoramic

Until Barbora Krejcikova appeared at the draw for Roland-Garros on Thursday night, the defending women’s champion was a doubtful starter for the second Grand Slam event of the year.

An elbow injury has kept the Czech off the WTA Tour since February but a year on from her sensational march to the title – and the doubles crown – Krejcikova says she’s ready and she’s fit.

“I got injured,” she said, explaining why she has not been seen of late. “I mean, I have problem with my elbow. Everybody knows that. I think it just happened because of the way how I played last year. I think it was just so many matches, and, you know, I felt at some point I need to rest. I mean, my body told me that I have to rest.

“I was off for quite a long time. I didn’t expect it, to be honest. But, yes, I’m healthy right now. I’m here, and, yeah, it’s amazing, you know, to start at the place where I won my first slam last year. So I’m looking forward to, yeah, to build up with matches and to get back to the form.”

Krejcikova said she was trying to not to get too excited about the defence of her title but the manner in which she won last year, and the way she played throughout 2021, showed her she can compete any week.

“I don’t really expect much,” she said. “I don’t think expecting is something good for me. I don’t think that, you know, expecting myself to do well after being injured for a long time.

“But I think that I can be a good opponent. I think I can play well. And even after being injured I think I had some time to recover and to practice, so I have been preparing for this.

“So I believe when I start playing matches, I can, you know, I can be really dangerous again and I can do well here as well. In general, I don’t know if I should expect that I’m going to be winning, or winning every slam, but I think that I can do well and I can go really deep.”

Seeded No 2 this year, Krejcikova begins her title defence against Diane Parry of France, the world No 96.

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