From qualification to the title
Tiechmann was placed 146th in the world before the start of the tournament, which meant she needed to go through qualification to play. She played 8 matches in 8 days – even playing two in a single day on the 30th of April. First the qualification final, then the 1st round of the tournament.
On her journey to the final she defeated Haddad Maia, Denisa Allertová, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Barbora Strýcová, who she even bageled in the Semi-finals. In the final she stopped Karolína Muchová 7:6, 3:6 and 6:4. From an unpredictable qualification she was able to gain the title and move to 87th in the world – the first time she has ever been in the top 100 of the world.
Muchová's sensational run
Five Czech players started the tournament this year. Muchová fared the best, as she played her best WTA rated tournament in her career. After receiving a wild card, she went on to eliminate Iga Swiatek, Jennifer Brady, Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Bernarda Pera. Her sensational run only ended in the final, where she lost to Jil Tiechmann, who herself gained a spot in the history books of the tournament.
Lucie Šafářová’s farewell
This year’s J&T Banka Prague Open was also the final tournament for Lucie Šafářová, who participated in doubles with Barbora Štefková. Despite not advancing past the first round she attended a special farewell ceremony on Saturday that included a video with messages for her from tennis stars from around the world. An emotional Šafářová shedded a tear or two and was left speechless seeing all the fans who gathered to say their final goodbye. She thanked them for all their support throughout the years and waved to them for the final time as she left the centre court of the Sparta tennis complex in Stromovka.
Whereas the weather in Prague in the days and weeks leading up to the tournament was perfect, as soon as the tournament started it took a turn for the worse. Many still remember the conditions in 2016 when there was even snow. Luckily this year wasn't as extreme, but heavy rainfall delayed the tournament by a day and the organizers had a lot of extra work on their hands. Luckily the wait paid off and the weather got better.
Only Czech derby
One of the highlights of the tournament was the derby between Barbora Strýcová and Kateřina Siniaková. The Prague tennis complex anticipated a close match, but the crowd was left unsatisfied with Strýcová's dominating 6:1 and 6:2 win. She showed here rising form and gained a glimmer of much needed hope for the rest of the season after an unsuccessful first few months.