By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Wimbledon—A phone call to her husband helped calm Marketa Vondrousova’s nerve to dial up a classic comeback.
Olympic silver medalist Vondrousova battled back from a 1-4 deficit, streaking through five straight games to stun fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 and reach her first Wimbledon semifinal in a stirring comeback conquest on No. 1 Court.
Facing a 1-3 deficit when play was suspended to close the retractable roof, Vondrousova didn’t consult her coach.
Instead, the 24-year-old Czech got busy pushing buttons.
Vondrousova called her husband, Stepan Simek, back home in Prague, who encouraged her by telling her she was playing a tremendous match and urged her to keep fighting.
“[My husband said] it was a good match, [you’re] playing great,” Vondrousova said. “He just said, Try to fight. You are playing good. You are playing great match.
“Yeah, that was it. I mean, I think the break helped actually. It was good.”
When play resumed, Pegula held serve to take a 4-1 lead.
That was the last game the American would win.
Catching fire on her forehand and serving with certainty, Vondrousova streaked through five straight games sealing a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory and securing her spot in her maiden Wimbledon semifinal where she will face wild card Elina Svitolina.
Vondrousova and Simek celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary on Sunday, July 16th, the day of the Wimbledon mens’ final.
Given her husband’s positive reinforcement, you might think he’ll fly in for Vondrousova’s semifinal.
Citing her husband’s work and cat care, Vondrousova doesn’t think he’ll make the trip to SW19 for the semifinals though if she reaches the final look for Simek in her support box.
“I think for semis he won’t come. We’ll see what happens,” Vondrousova said. “He has to work. He has to take care of our cat. He has to stay home.”
Even if Simek doesn’t make the trip, Vondrousova knows he’s only a phone call away.
Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty