Czech Republic tennis star Karolina Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova said she was “not proud” of her Centre Court tears after losing a rollercoaster Wimbledon final to Ashleigh Barty on Saturday.
World number one Barty triumphed 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 to clinch her second Grand Slam title after the 2019 French Open.
Pliskova has now lost both major finals in which she has appeared having been beaten in three sets by Angelique Kerber at the 2016 US Open.
“It was not the plan to cry because I don’t want to cry on the court. I feel like cry in the locker room, but not on the court,” said the 29-year-old Czech after the tears fell at the on-court trophy ceremony.
“Just like too many emotions. Of course, it’s been three weeks since I was here in London, in the bubble.
“So of course you’re a bit tired. All the emotions, they just go. Yeah, not proud about that.”
Pliskova, a former world number one who had never previously got past the fourth round at Wimbledon before this year, endured a final of contrasting fortunes.
She was 4-0 down in the first set, losing the first 14 points before she got on the board.
She then broke Barty in the 12th game of the second set as the Australian served for the title before sweeping the tiebreaker.
But all her good work was undone in the second game of the decider when she was broken again and Barty did not need a second invitation to go on to take the title.
Pliskova had gone into the final having served 54 aces but it took the nerve-wracked Czech until the first game of the second set to move on to 55.
She had also only been broken four times in her previous six matches.
By the end of the final, she had given up serve a six further times.
“It was a horrible start. That’s why I’m proud about how I found a way back in that match,” she added.
Pliskova also admitted she had flashbacks to the final of the Italian Open in Rome on the eve of Roland Garros when she was blitzed 6-0, 6-0 by Iga Swiatek in 45 minutes.
“I was thinking about the final in Rome where I didn’t make a game. I thought, No, this is not possible, this cannot happen again.”
Despite her disappointment, Pliskova believes that her previous indifference to Wimbledon can help her crack her Grand Slam drought.
Her next chance is the US Open in New York which starts next month.
“It’s not that I didn’t like Wimbledon, but it was never my favourite place,” she said.
“I never played well here. I never felt so good here. But this time the feeling about this tournament changed, the feeling about the people.
“I’m just going to try to be back stronger. Of course there’s going to be a next chance. I think plenty of them. I’m not going to give up on that. So let’s see what it’s going to be.”