Marketa Vondrousova became the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon women’s title in the Open era when she defeated Ons Jabeur today.
AFP Sport looks at five things to know about the Czech left-hander:
Childhood Friends to Sweethearts
Vondrousova married IT project manager Stepan Simek in Prague in July 2022. The couple have known each other since childhood and dated for seven years before their wedding.
“Marketa always said she was in love with me since she was 13, but I allegedly only noticed her when she was 15,” said Simek.
“We were at a training camp, we ran together and the suffering on the track brought us together.”
Simek is 1.94 metres tall — 22 centimetres taller than Marketa.
“I don’t mind, except that my neck hurts when I want to kiss him or when I’m talking to him and have to look up,” she once said.
Vondrousova has kept her surname in tennis after her wedding.
“I didn’t want to give it up, because it was my dad who led me to play tennis. And everyone knows me under this name,” she said.
But she is “Simkova” on all her private documents, which sometimes causes problems — a messenger was looking for Mrs Simkova at her tennis club and nobody was able to recall it was her.
Vondrousova has tattoos all over her body. She has had her lucky number 13 tattooed, and after the Tokyo Olympics, where she won a silver medal, she added the five Olympic rings.
“For me, it’s art. I appreciate the people that do this,” she said after defeating Elina Svitolina in Thursday’s semi-final.
‘Maky’ My Day
Her nickname is “Maky”, a popular short name for Marketa. Coincidentally, July 13 — the day of her semi-final win over Elina Svitolina — is the name day for Marketa (Margaret) in the Czech Republic. Every day of the year is someone’s name day, on which the individual is wished “Happy Name Day”.
No Doubles Trouble
Vondrousova reached the third round of the women’s doubles at Wimbledon with compatriot and close friend Miriam Kolodziejova, but when Vondrousova reached the singles semi-final, Kolodziejova came up and said: “Don’t play, it would be too much for you.”
Vondrousova said: “Fortunately, we’re really good friends. She’s not upset. We understand and support each other, which is nice.” — AFP