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Lifelong goals became reality for French Open champion Austin Krajicek

June 15, 2023
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There was a time not so long ago that former Texas A&M tennis star Austin Krajicek compiled a list of goals.

Some goals were reasonably modest. But the list started with a couple of ambitious items.

  • Win a Grand Slam event
  • Become the top-ranked doubles player in the world

Krajicek checked off those last two items last week. He and his partner — Ivan Dodig of Croatia — defeated Belgians Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille, 6-3, 6-1, in the French Open doubles championship.

“Obviously, it has always been a huge dream of mine to win a Grand Slam and be No. 1,” Krajicek said Thursday on TexAgs Radio. “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.”

“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.”
- A&M HOF inductee Austin Krajicek

Krajicek hasn’t had much time to relax. A Plano resident, he threw out of the ceremonial first pitch before the Texas Rangers’ 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

On Thursday afternoon, he boarded a flight to London to prepare for Wimbledon, which starts on July 3.

A lot has happened in a relatively short time for Krajicek. Until May of 2022, he wasn’t ranked among the world’s top 30.

In just a little over a year, he’s reached the French Open final twice. Last year, he and Dodig were agonizingly close to defeating Marcelo Arévalo and Jean-Julien Rojer in the championship match.

Krajicek and Dodig won the first set 7-6 and had three consecutive match point opportunities to clinch the victory.

Alas, they came up short and then lost the decisive third set, 6-3.

That just made last weekend’s victory that much sweeter.

“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,” Krajicek said. “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.”

Krajicek has been building for that first Grand Slam championship since 2008 when Texas A&M coach Steve Denton, himself a former double star, lured him from IMG Academy to College Station.

Texas A&M Media Relations
Krajicek and his partner Jeff Dadamo won the first tennis national title in program history.

Like most players, Krajicek might have envisioned a stellar future in singles,  but at A&M, he and Jeff Dadamo won the NCAA National Championship in 2011. It was the first national title in the A&M tennis program’s history.

Krajicek was a four-time doubles All-American and twice was All-American in singles. He was also the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was named the Big 12 Player of the Year in his junior and senior seasons.

“Not every great singles player can be a doubles player,” Krajicek said. “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 playing style and pushing the net are more tailored to doubles.”

Yet, Krajicek began his professional career in 2012 and made strides as a singles player. He broke into the world rankings top 100 in 2015.

But over the years, it became apparent he could dominate in doubles play.

Krajicek’s profile steadily climbed until reaching the peak in Paris last week. Checking those top two items off his list of goals was an emotional experience.

“It is hard to put the emotions into words. Especially after last year in Paris, having such a disappointing finish,” Krajicek said. “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.”

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Lifelong goals became reality for French Open champion Austin Krajicek

2,478 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 10 mo ago by LatinAggie1997
Matsui
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Amazing
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What a journey for him!
LatinAggie1997
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