“I like to know exactly what I want,” she said. “I know if I want that thing so bad, I will get it.”
That, giving her all and playing with much emotion and joy, she said, is what keeps her motivated.
“It comes with pressure, yes, I understand that, but it’s something that I want so bad,” she said of the trophy picture. “I believe that I can do it as long as I’m giving everything that I can, as long as I know where I’m going. I think it will help me a lot.”
The crowd probably will, too. The fans were with her from the first moments Thursday, and especially against Sabalenka, who, like all Russians and Belarusians, was prohibited from playing Wimbledon last year because of her country’s support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In recent days, as Sabalenka crept closer to the final, concerns rose over whether Catherine, Princess of Wales, who traditionally presents the trophy to the singles winner, would be forced to give it to Sabalenka.
Jabeur saved the monarchy from that uncomfortable outcome. She has knocked off four Grand Slam winners on the way to the final, surviving one of the toughest draws in the tournament and three three-set matches.
Now she will try to win one more match and the most important title in the sport against a player who has beaten her twice this year.
“I’m going for my revenge,” she said with a smile.
Vondrousova is one of a flurry of Czech talents. Last month, Karolina Muchova, 26, a friend of Vondrousova’s, fell two games short of winning the French Open. The country of 10.7 million people has eight women in the top 50.
Vondrousova is seventh among them at 42nd. She was ranked No. 1 in the world as a junior and reached the French Open final in 2019, but hadn’t made a Grand Slam quarterfinal since. She may have been the longest shot among them to make the final.
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