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 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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