Husband’s tears of joy cap Vondrousova’s ‘impossible’ Wimbledon fairytale

Marketa Vondrousova said her husband’s unexpected show of emotion after Saturday’s shock Wimbledon final victory against Ons Jabeur was the perfect end to her “impossible” triumph.

Vondrousova became the first unseeded woman to win Wimbledon as she stunned the Tunisian world number six on Centre Court.

The 24-year-old held her nerve in a tense 6-4, 6-4 win, securing her first major title four years after losing her only previous Grand Slam final at the French Open.

So unexpected was her Wimbledon run that the world number 42 told her husband Stepan Simek to stay at home in Prague to look after their cat Frankie, until a pet sitter was found to allow him to travel to London for the final.

Twelve months after their wedding, Simek cried tears of joy when he saw Vondrousova after the match.

“I think when I came to the box, he cried. I saw him after and he cried a lot,” Vondrousova said.

“It’s amazing, tomorrow is our first wedding anniversary.

“That’s the first emotion I saw from him over eight years. I think he cried on the wedding day also, but that was it!”

With the family cat clearly a major figure in the Vondrousova household, the champion said her pet would get a reward after missing out on the party at the All England Club.

“I’m going to buy her some good fish. She’s with the cat sitter now. My mom is coming tomorrow to watch her,” she said.

“She has to wait for us. She doesn’t really care what’s happening.”

The outpouring of emotion from Vondrousova’s family was triggered by her unlikely journey to Wimbledon glory.

She had endured two serious wrist injuries that stalled her promising career since losing the 2019 French Open final.

Hampered by her injuries, Vondrousova was reduced to watching her best friend Miriam Kolodziejova attempt to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw last year.

“I had a cast last year at that time. I was a tourist here. When I was coming back, I didn’t know if I can play at that level again. This seems impossible,” she said.


 ‘I couldn’t breathe’


Given her previous poor form on grass, Vondrousova had no expectations of a long run in this year’s tournament.

“I didn’t play well before on grass. It’s unbelievable. Nobody would have told you that I even had a chance to win,” she said.

“I was unseeded. It’s such a crazy journey. I can’t believe it.”

With the Centre Court roof closed due to high winds in London, Vondrousova was able to take advantage of the conditions better than Jabeur.

“I was really happy they closed the roof because it’s very different than in the windy weather. We practice in Prague in winter indoors. I always play good indoors,” she said.

Learning from the experience of her French Open final thrashing by Ash Barty, Vondrousova battled to keep her composure as the pressure mounted.

“I couldn’t breathe. I was thinking to myself, ‘Just be over’. I was like crazy nervous,” she said.

“I just tried to stay calm and keep it together. It was such a relief when I put the match point in.”

With her place in Wimbledon history assured, the tattooed Vondrousova will turn her attention to some celebratory body art alongside her coach Jan Mertl.

“I’ll choose for him. Maybe we’ll get the same one. We talked before the tournament and he said, ‘Yeah, so maybe if you win a Grand Slam, then I’ll do it’,” she said.

“I’m just going to made him do it. I’ll show you guys on Instagram after.”



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