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Krejcikova says “the tank is empty” following US Open loss to Sabalenka

After losing convincingly to Aryna Sabalenka in the US Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, Barbora Krejcikova said she was struggling, physically

Barbora Krejcikova at Prague in 2021 Barbora Krejcikova at Prague in 2021

Barbora Krejcikova did not look like her French Open-winning self at any point during her loss to Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals of the US Open on Wednesday night. Krejcikova lost 6-1, 6-4 in just one hour and 26 minutes, after which she confirmed that she was struggling physically, despite not exactly pointing toward a specific injury.

“The tank is empty,” the 25-year-old Czech explained. “I mean, just so many matches (this season). The season is really long. It just got to me. I don’t really want to say…I just don’t want to take the match from Aryna, because she was just playing really well. (But), yeah…the tank is empty. I was just fighting for every single ball. There is not much I can say. Last couple of days and nights, they’ve been really difficult with everything that happened.”

What happened on Sunday night was a contentious fourth-round match against Garbine Muguruza, during which Krejcikova went off court for a lengthy medical timeout while trailing 6-5 in the second set. The Czech returned to promptly win seven points in a row and eventually prevail 6-3, 7-6 (4).

At the handshake, Krejcikova tried to apologise but Muguruza called her “very unprofessional.”

The world No 9 eventually had to be helped off the court.

I was in really bad shape.

Barbora Krejcikova

“I just know what she told me at the net,” Krejcikova said of the Spaniard. “I don’t know what was happening after. I just tried not to look at it. Yeah, I guess she has a lot of fans because she [has been] playing longer than I have. I would say I guess [the fan reaction] was pretty negative, but that’s the way it is. I mean, I didn’t expect it because I wasn’t in a…I don’t know how to say it. I just didn’t expect that I’m going to be accused (of gamesmanship) like this.

“Also I was watching a little bit the end of the match, so I knew what was actually happening. I just felt right now that I got really humiliated by a Grand Slam champion, which I’ve never seen. It’s tough. I mean, I’m sad about it because, to be honest, when I [left] the court it took me actually one hour to get to the locker room. I was in really bad shape. I was just, like, cramping. I felt really, really bad. I never experienced something like this, something from behind the scenes that nobody knows and nobody has seen.”

Whatever the case, it was hardly a surprise that Krejcikova was less than 100 percent two days later. Sabalenka could sense it, too. “Of course maybe she was a little bit more tired because she had (a) really tough match against Muguruza,” the world No 2 said. “Something happened there in the end of the second set I heard. Of course, maybe that’s why she also didn’t play her best. “Yeah, maybe I was just lucky that she had a really tough one against Muguruza.”

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