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‘We want to be the best’ – Linda reveals Fruhvirtova sisters’ high hopes

The teenage star spoke to Tennis Majors following her first-round win at the Australian Open

Linda Fruhvirtova Czech Republic’s Linda Fruhvirtova on Day 2 of the women’s ASB Classic at the ASB Tennis Arena, Auckland (Photosport/Panoramic)

If there is a word to describe Linda Fruhvirtova, it would undoubtedly be ‘maturity’.

On the court, her tactical awareness is one of her main strengths. Off the court, she is at ease with all the attention, speaking with calmness and confidence not typical for a 17-year-old.

Currently 82nd in the world, the older of the Fruhvirtova sisters began her Australian Open campaign by taking out Jaimee Fourlis 6-0, 6-4. Accompanied by her father Hynek and her agent Marijin Bal from IMG, she answered questions in English and in her native Czech afterwards, before speaking to Eurosport and a radio station from her home country.

“It doesn’t really make me nervous , because I have been doing interviews since I was very young,” Linda told Tennis Majors with a laugh. “That comes with being a tennis player, and I don’t go thinking, ‘Oh wow, I am a star now.’ I take it as a normal thing: answer the questions and move on!”

Linda Fruhvirtova: The best talent you can have is to work hard

Linda’s younger sister Brenda created a lot of noise on the ITF tour last year by winning eight titles. In Melbourne, Brenda made it through the qualifiers before falling in the first round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The Fruhvirtova sisters have been a family project for a long time now. Even before the sisters were born, Hynek and Martina wrote down a list of sports their children could do.

“We chose tennis because it is the least taxing on the body,” Hynek Fruhvirt told Isport. Both Linda and Brenda also tried athletics, gymnastics, and skiing, but in the end stayed with tennis, as they liked the fact that everything depends on you. From day one, they took it seriously and Linda often emphasises her never-say-die attitude as one of her assets.

“I always say that my biggest strength is the way I fight, the way I give it all out there. I have been like that since I was a kid: I fight until the end, even though my technique was not the best or my strokes were not the best or whatever. I went on the court with belief. I feel that the best talent you can have is to work hard and to be disciplined,” Linda added.

She plays a precise game, scans her opponents quickly and can play in various ways – against Fourlis, she displayed a mixture of flat hitting and high balls keeping her opponent off guard. Standing at 172 cm tall, she hits a fairly big ball and is not afraid of stepping in. So far, her main weakness has been her second serve.

“Of course, there are a lot of things that I can improve, but that’s a good thing at my age. I think that my game is good, but I am trying to make it better and better.”

‘Parents are a big influence’

Her father Hynek studied at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports and he was a decent junior hockey player, but neither he nor his wife knew a lot about tennis. As the girls were talented, the approach of the family became even more thorough, to the point where they stopped their home interior design business to dedicate to the new business – tennis.

“We read a lot of books, contacted a lot of people, consulted them and gathered information,” Hynek told Seznam Zprávy.

Before their teens, Linda and Brenda already had a contract with a professional sports agency. So far, everything is going according to plan.

“I think parents have a very big influence on what kind of personality one has. That was the case with me too, definitely,” Linda commented with a smile before adding: “Both of my parents are very ambitious and very disciplined people. They taught me to appreciate everything in my life. It would not feel right to go on the court and not give 100 per cent after what my parents did for my career. And, I mean: what is the point of competing if you do not want to give your best and win?”

The Fruhvirtova sisters practise occasionally at the Mouratoglou Academy, but neither has a permanent coach at the moment.

“It is a bit complicated because people change in tennis all the time, but for me, the most important thing is that my parents stay. We have one guy for both of us here (their hitting partner Ondřej Krstev), so it can get tricky sometimes, but it is great that our parents are behind us.”

‘We have the highest goals’

At the Miami Open last year, Linda Fruhvirtova made the most of her wildcard by defeating Danka Kovinić, Elise Mertens and Victoria Azarenka, before falling to Paula Badosa. At the US open she recorded her first victory in the main draw of a Grand Slam , before winning her maiden WTA title in Chennai.

“I am still new to all of this, so my goal is to keep getting experience on the WTA Tour playing big matches against top players. I want to improve my game and to keep climbing up the rankings.”

As a kid, Linda most enjoyed watching Roger Federer and Serena Williams (“they played so many big matches on the TV”) and together with her sister Brenda she dreams of conquering the tennis world, just like the Williams sisters once did.

“Of course we do, of course we want to be the best and we have the highest goals. We will see what will happen.”

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