TOKYO (Reuters) – When the going gets tough for Marketa Vondrousova, who passed Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina to reach the Olympic women’s singles final on Thursday, she finds inspiration close at hand with a message tattooed on her arm.
Inked just above her right elbow, the 42nd-ranked Czech has the words “no rain, no flowers”, a reminder that even the most difficult times can be followed by success.
Vondrousova said making the Olympic final a particularly sweet victory after suffering tough lessons in the past, such as losing to Australia’s Ash Barty in the 2019 Roland Garros final when she had failed to win. only four games.
“I think you know, without fail there is no success so you have to go through tough games. Even if you mostly lose, if you keep believing in yourself and yes that’s the reward.” , she told reporters.
Vondrousova was on a dream Olympic run after beating home favorite and world number two Naomi Osaka in the third round, before crushing fourth Svitolina 6-3 6-1 in Thursday’s semi-final.
“I mean, it’s an amazing feeling. I played a great game today,” said Vondrousova, who will face Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the title match.
“Ever since I beat Naomi you know I was thinking good, I’m playing good so maybe I can do better and now I’m in the final. So you know even if it’s the money or gold, I’m just happy to walk away with the medal. ”
Svitolina, the top-ranked player in the women’s table after eliminating the three world premieres in previous rounds, couldn’t hide her disappointment and couldn’t say if she would be ready for the bronze medal game. against Kazakhe Elena Rybakina.
“At the moment, it’s very difficult to say. I am really disappointed, ”she told reporters in tears.
“I expected to go further, but unfortunately there are other players who are playing well. It is extremely difficult and it did not happen today.
“There was a slight chance there but to be fair Marketa played really well, a very solid performance and I couldn’t find my best tennis today and it all came together for her.”
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Toby Davis)