Touching farewell to Sestina Hlaváčková: I will smile everywhere and maybe even a tear will fall

“I’m already looking forward to Saturday. I’ll come to tennis in civilian clothes, I won’t have to decide if I need to see a physiotherapist, I’ll be smiling everywhere and maybe even a tear will fall. I have to prepare a speech,” said Sestini Hlaváčková at the press conference after Thursday’s last game.

“The only thing I regret is that Lucka (Hradecká) will no longer be at the farewell, as she has to fly to the tournament on Friday. There won’t even be a party in the evening,” added the long-time Czech representative.

The 35-year-old tennis player arrived among the journalists with her daughter Isabella in her arms. Because of her birth more than three years ago, she interrupted her career. Although she did not rule out a return to the courts, in June she announced that she would return only once at a tournament in Prague alongside Hradecka. With her, for example, she celebrated two Grand Slam titles or a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Lucie Hradecká (left) and Andrea Sestini HlaváčkováPhoto: Ondřej DemlCTK

In the first round of the Prague Open, the duo H+H knocked out compatriots Miriam Kolodziejová and Anastasia Detiucová, but they lost against Murrayová and Katoová in 55 minutes. “I am very happy that we finished it in the dark. I think we finished it with a nice feeling. Yes, we lost, but there is something to celebrate. We started the tournament with a beautiful match on Monday and now we have finished it. Thanks again Lucca, that she went for it, that she sacrificed the tournament even with the vision that I wouldn’t be completely ready. In the end, we played well,” said Hlaváčková.

Because of the later time, she was afraid that the organizers would interrupt the duel and postpone it to Friday. But it didn’t happen. “That thought crossed our minds about a thousand times, but I think that none of the four participants on the court cared about it,” said Hlaváčková.

Like Hradecká, she also had tape on her hand. It was the result of the first match and Hlaváčková was happy to add to the match. “The past two days, I didn’t hold the racket in my hand at all and I didn’t even serve before the match. It was a bit of a will, but the endorphins helped the match. As I didn’t care about the serve in the final, it was falling for me,” she said with a smile.

“But I’m fine. If a person doesn’t play a sharp match, this won’t limit him in his further functioning,” added the native of Pilsen, who is already waiting for training sessions with the fans next week.

Lucie Hradecká (left) and Andrea Sestini HlaváčkováPhoto: Ondřej DemlCTK

After the match, she enjoyed a standing ovation from the crowd and a quick ceremony during which she received flowers. “It was nice to see people who remember our duo H+H. It brings back memories when we fought together both in tournaments and representative events for the Czech Republic. We were two world tennis players, but also two Czech women. How now, as well as throughout my career, it was clear that we have the fans behind us,” she thanked.

While Hradecká was unable to pinpoint one common moment in the flood of emotions, Hlaváčková called the silver medal from London the biggest success. “For me, the highest thing is and always will be an Olympic medal. It has moved us to another level of success,” she said.

“If you tell someone who doesn’t know tennis that you have an Olympic medal, their chin will drop. For me, it was something unreal that Lucka and I were able to do everything. After that, I also played with a lot of other players, but I thought to myself that those we achieved the greatest successes together. Then it was never as intense as it was between 2011 and 2013,” added the parting Hlaváčková.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *