Barbora Krejcikova beat Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 7-6 at the US Open 2021 on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals. But Muguruza took issue with Krejcikova's behavior towards the end of the match, and said as much during her post-match presser.
Barbora Krejcikova, the reigning French Open champion, made a blazing start to the match and led 6-3, 4-0 at one point. But with a maiden appearance in the US Open quarterfinals in sight, the contest took a dramatic turn.
Krejcikova lost her way as Muguruza reeled off five consecutive games to bring things back on level terms. The Spaniard even held three set points with Krejcikova serving at 4-5, but was unable to convert.
That was when the Czech started looking in some discomfort, ultimately leading to her taking a medical time-out before serving at 5-6. On resumption, Krejcikova held serve to take the match to a tie-break, which she eventually won 7-4.
Garbine Muguruza was visibly displeased with the delay in the match though. She also looked annoyed during the tiebreak, as Krejcikova walked slowly to get her towel while the Spaniard was ready to serve.
The post-match handshake was cold and swift, and Muguruza was even heard calling Krejcikova "unprofessional".
While talking to the media after the match, Muguruza insinuated Krejcikova delayed the proceedings just to stall the momentum. The Spaniard, while stopping short of making a direct accusation, asked the reporters to "judge" the matter themselves.
"Listen, I don't really want to talk about this," Muguruza said. "It's…I'll let you guys judge what you think about this. Well, I think, between players, you know a little bit how to behave in certain moments and, yeah, I wasn't very happy at the end of the match."
I couldn’t breathe, started to feel dizzy: Barbora Krejcikova
While Barbora Krejcikova's diagnosis isn't yet known, the Czech stated after the match that she had trouble breathing and felt dizzy. Krejcikova looked in distress even after the match, and was helped off the court by the tournament doctor and the physio.
The Prague Open champion, who goes on to face World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals, wasn't in a state to attend the post-match press conference. In a brief statement to the WTA, Krejcikova shared her feelings on the match and what exactly happened to her out there on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I think I started the match really well and was playing good tennis," Krejcikova said. "The key was to start the match well. There were a lot breaks which was difficult but I was happy that I won the first set 6-3. Out of nowhere I got the lead 4-0 and then things started to get complicated."
"Garbine started to raise her level and I was expecting that," she added. "At the end I was really struggling and I feel really bad right now. I don’t really know what happened but I couldn’t breathe. I started to feel dizzy and the whole world was shaking. It never happened to me before."