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Former A&M tennis star Austin Krajicek recaps French Open doubles title

June 15, 2023
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Texas A&M Hall of Fame inductee Austin Krajicek won the 2023 French Open doubles title with his partner, Ivan Dodig. Now ranked as No. 1 in the world, Krajicek joined Thursday's edition of TexAgs Radio to discuss the accomplishment and his time in Aggieland.



Key notes from Austin Krajicek interview

  • It is hard to put the emotions into words. Especially after last year in Paris, having such a disappointing finish. It was pretty cool to become No. 1 as well as winning. Those were two of my lifelong goals since I was young, so it was pretty special. 
     
  • Not every great singles player can be a doubles player. It is a more specific approach to the game and a little different skill set. Being a good player overall will give you the ability to transition if you work hard enough. My playstyle and pushing the net are more tailored to doubles.
     
  • Tennis is difficult. You can have the best week of your career, and a few hours later, you can have one of the toughest moments of your career. Luckily, my partner Ivan Dodig is one of the best players ever, and I was able to lean on him. It was tough to swallow at the time, but I think it was a moment I needed. The good and bad thing about tennis is the next week, you are on to the next place and competing again. You have to shake it off and focus on the next tournament. I think it was what we needed last year to learn from and build on for the future. 
     
  • The margins in tennis are so razor-thin. We have had some good wins in the past and beaten guys at the top. You know you can do it, but it is different in knowing you can and actually doing it. It is just little skills that make the difference. It is the difference between winning a tournament and losing a tiebreaker. It all kind of came together last week in Paris at the right time. 
     
  • Steve Denton was there the whole time for every match. It was awesome to have him there and part of the team.
     
  • I was at IMG Academy, so I was on the fence about going to school or going pro. Coach Steve Denton and Bob McKinley convinced me to come out. I had only been to A&M one time for a junior tournament. Coach Steve Denton and Bob McKinley were the reason I chose A&M. They had every experience I wanted to have as a pro. I had an amazing time at a football game and with the tennis team. I felt like I was a Texan right away. They told me once an Aggie, always an Aggie and I still feel that way. We always try to make a couple of football games a year. 
     
  • My relationship with Coach Denton was great from day one. He makes the team feel like a family. He is a great guy and coach and has a great influence on and off the court. My game is more tailored to doubles. I had success here at A&M and was able to win my senior year. I did have more success in doubles initially, but I focused on singles for eight or nine years out of school. I decided to make a run in doubles and hopefully win Grand Slams like we just did. I have always enjoyed doubles a little more. 
     
  • You don't have to be friends to be partners. There are a lot of teams that haven't got along. It certainly does help. Oftentimes, you spend more time with your partner than your significant other. Your game styles have to match, but I think your mentality and how you prepare, how you handle wins, and how you handle losses are more important. It is extremely rare to find someone you are on the same page with in all aspects. In some of those tough times is where the chemistry is built a lot of times. 
     
  • Anytime I can help, I am always willing to help the Aggies. I am always chatting to these younger guys. I think college is a fantastic route for these young guys to decide whether to go pro or college. I am a little biased toward the Aggies, so I am always willing to help.
     
  • Obviously, it has always been a huge dream of mine to win a Grand Slam and be No. 1. There are still things we can do better. We still have so many goals we want to accomplish. There is a never-ending process to get better. It feels really good to get that first one under the belt, especially after how we lost last year in the finals. Hopefully, it helps us relax a little bit and play better tennis in general. 
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Former A&M tennis star Austin Krajicek recaps French Open doubles title

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