Marketa Vondrousova’s phone call to her husband helped inspire Wimbledon win

Marketa Vondrousova revealed an impromptu pep talk from her husband helped inspired her stunning Wimbledon quarter-final comeback win over world number four Jessica Pegula.

The 2019 French Open finalist was trailing 3-1 in the deciding set against the American when play was suspended for more than 20 minutes to allow the Court One roof to be closed due to forecasted rain.

Vondrousova spoke on the phone with spouse Stepan Simek during the unexpected stoppage and, once play resumed, battled back from 4-1 and a break point down to continue her greatest run at the All England Club with a gripping 6-4 2-6 6-4 success.

The 24-year-old was in tears following a victory which sets up a semi-final clash with Elina Svitolina and admits the break was beneficial.

“I actually didn’t see my coach,” she said of the weather delay. “I was alone in the waiting room.

“I chatted a bit with my husband. We talked on the phone. He just said, ‘try to fight, you are playing good, you are playing a great match’.

“That was it. I think the break helped actually. It was good.

Marketa Vondrousova on her way to a second grand slam semi-final
Marketa Vondrousova on her way to a second grand slam semi-final (John Walton/PA)

“She had break points for 5-1. You are not in a good mood. I just kept belief in myself.

“After the match point, I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t hold the tears.”

Pegula, playing in her sixth grand slam quarter-final, looked certain to reach a first major career singles semi-final until the intermission.

The 29-year-old appeared unhappy about the decision to halt proceedings and soon had further reason to feel irked after her Czech opponent rattled off five games on the bounce in a dramatic twist under the roof.

Jessica Pegula suffered another quarter-final defeat
Jessica Pegula suffered another quarter-final defeat (Victoria Jones/PA)

For the time being, Vondrousova expects her husband to remain in Prague to work and care for the couple’s cat but suggested that situation could change should she overcome Ukrainian wildcard Svitolina to reach the final.

“I think for semis he won’t come,” said the world number 42, who had never previously been past the second round at SW19 before this year.

“We’ll see what happens. He has to work. He has to take care of our cat. He has to stay home.

“I never thought I could play so good here because I didn’t do well on grass before.

“Every match is incredibly difficult here. We’ll see what’s going to happen next.”

Pegula felt the closure of the roof was a crucial turning point.

“It was, like, the perfect time (for Vondrousova),” she said.

“It definitely changed momentum because I totally had the momentum going to serve that 4-1 game.

“I still had chances with the roof closed. She played solid. She literally didn’t miss for, like, the next five games, whatever it was.

“(It) sucks to lose that way, having the lead in the third.”