Young Czech wildcard brings excitement to women's 2023 tennis season

Linda Nosková's impressive run to the final of the Adelaide International – beating an ex-world number one en route – bodes well for the Australian Open.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 10.01.2023 07:30:00 (updated on 09.01.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Teenage Czech tennis player Linda Nosková finished runner-up in the 2023 Adelaide International tournament in Australia. Despite losing in the final on Sunday to Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka, her strong performance is one of several reasons to be optimistic about women’s tennis in Czechia this year.

Monday saw Nosková move up to a career-high rank of number 56 in the world after her impressive display in Adelaide. Her run to the final featured her downing former world number one Victoria Azarenka as well as the current world number two, Ons Jabeur. 

"I think that if I believe in myself and believe in my game, I can go for it. I can definitely play and currently even beat some of the best players in the world," said Nosková after the match. Her opponent Sabalenková was complimentary of the young Czech: I am 100 percent sure that we will see her in finals many more times," the Belarussian said.

Nosková debuted in her first Grand Slam (a term for one of the four major tennis tournaments held every year) at the 2022 French Open, and will be looking toward the 2023 Australian Open; qualification rounds for the latter are already underway.

Quality players made in Czechia

Czech tennis can be proud of the performance of its women in recent years. The Czech number one women’s player at the moment is the seasoned Petra Kvitová, a two-time Grand Slam champion who won the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2011 and 2014. 

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Barbora Krejčíková is currently ranked second in Czechia, and is also a Grand Slam winner, taking the French Open title in 2021. She has also won a “career Grand Slam” (winning all four major tennis tournaments) in tennis doubles.

In Czech women's tennis, Martina Navrátilová is by far the most recognizable name, despite switching from Czechoslovak to U.S. citizenship in 1975. She won a total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 31 Grand Slam doubles titles – the highest amount combined amount in the Open Era of tennis (since 1968).

The Czech number four, Karolína Plíšková, is the former world number one, spending eight weeks on top of the women’s rankings in mid-2017. She is a two-time Grand Slam finalist in tennis singles. 

The current world number one in women’s doubles is Kateřina Siniaková, a 26-year-old Czech. Like Krejčíková, she too has won a career Grand Slam in doubles, and will be eyeing up her chances in the Australian Open.

The future seems bright for women’s tennis in Czechia. The current world number one in the International Tennis Federation’s Junior Girls Rankings is Lucie Havlíčková. The 17-year-old won the 2022 Girls’ French Open and reached the final of the Girls’ US Open, which is another Grand Slam, in 2022.

Nosková’s Adelaide run is a good reminder of Czechia’s strong ability to produce successful female tennis players. The public’s eyes will be on the first Grand Slam of the year in Australia, starting Jan. 16, to see how far Czechia’s ladies can go.

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