Brenda Fruhvirtova: "I'm really grateful for the Australian Open experience"
by SHARADA IYER | VIEW 6465
At Indian Wells, 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic reached the second round after winning a complicated opening-round against Mayar Sherif of Egypt. Several miles and a time-zone away, Linda’s younger sister, Brenda Fruhvirtova began her week at the ITF W40 tournament in Bengaluru, India.
The ITF event in Bengaluru’s the first the 15-year-old’s playing in 2023. It’s not surprising given the trajectory and growth she’s had as a pro the year before, in 2022.
The road that Brenda Fruhvirtova's travelled
That year, Fruhvirtova collected eight ITF titles beginning with the W25 in Tucuman, Argentina, in the last week of January.
She followed this up by winning the second W25 title there the following week, in February. As it later turned out, the teenager finished the season with eight ITF titles, winning five consecutive W25 events along the way, beginning in June, in Klosters, Switzerland and culminating in Santa Margarita di Pula, Italy, in September.
This haul of titles helped Fruhvirtova reach a career-high of no. 128 in the WTA rankings in November that year. In 2023, this boost in rankings helped Fruhvirtova gain an entry in the qualifying draw of the Australian Open – her first Major as a pro.
Looking back at that momentous run of hers, Fruhvirtova, who spoke to TennisWorld exclusively from Bengaluru, shared, “Yeah, it was a turn. I was like, with no expectations. And somehow, I made the qualies and it was a really amazing experience for me.
And I think the biggest one in my tennis career so far. So, I'm really grateful for that”. Further, continuing the conversation with some more reminiscing about her getting past the qualifiers and into the main draw at Melbourne Park, Fruhvirtova talked about experience.
“Like, for sure, it's tough to play against some older, older players, because they're much more experienced than me and have much more physical strength,” she observed. “So, yeah, that was probably the difference.
And yeah, I mean, at this level of tennis, they don't give you as many chances if you don't take them. So, I tried to improve that”. Interesting as it was to have her contextualise her performance at the Australian Open in terms of experience, her words brought back the nature of her result in her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, there.
Fruhvirtova led Sasnovich 3-0 in the opening set before her opponent made her way back in the set and eventually, in the match to finish it 7-5, 6-2. At a time when the women’s tour’s got a notable composition of youngsters, especially teenagers, in the mix – one of whom who’s her sister – Fruhvirtova’s words seem like necessary speed-breakers to prevent one’s train of thought from racing and planning their careers for them.
Along similar lines, the teen’s words also emphasised that every youngster’s trajectory on the tour – be it the men’s or women’s – was theirs alone to map and build on it instead of them facing comparative analysis based on another’s successes.
Not that this ought to be a detraction from looking up to those who have made a name for themselves. Especially, if one hails from a country whose depth of the playing pool sets it apart on the professional tour. Presently, the Czech Republic’s has a hefty combination of both seasoned and developing names.
If the likes of Linda Noskova and the Fruhvirtova sisters can be counted in the latter categorisation, Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Krejcikova are among those who belong in the former. In fact, Krejcikova’s the no.
2 in doubles with her partner, Katerina Siniakova ranked no. 1 in the world. On her part, Fruhvirtova acknowledged, “I don't think that in the Czech (Republic), I have some role models or inspiration,” when asked about this consistent cycle of emergence and growth of tennis talent in her native.
She was, however, quick to add, “It's a country where there are a lot of good players, especially in women's tennis. So yeah, I think it's, it's really, really good. And there, there are a lot of rivals and yeah, I think this this keeps pushing the Czech players to achieve something”.
Speaking of achievements, beyond the future and solely focusing on the present, Fruhvirtova’s gotten a lot for herself this week in Bengaluru. Seeded no. 1 in the event, Brenda Fruhvirtova’s made it to the final, dropping only one set in four matches.
It’s also the first time she’s made it this far in an ITF event that’s played on hard courts. For someone, who’d begun this conversation with a confident, “For sure, to win the tournament. I always have the highest expectations (of myself) from the tournament.
So yeah, for sure that,” as the reply to the question about the expectations she had of herself; the teen’s made her words come true, one match at a time. Photo Credit: Ranjith Kumar