BIRTHPLACE : Brno, Czech Republic
NATIONALITY : Czech
HEIGHT : 5′ 9″ (1.77 m)
WEIGHT : 137 lbs. (62 kg)
PLAYS : Left-handed (Double Handed Backhand)
TURNED PRO : 2002
AGE STARTED TENNIS : 3
COACH : Rob Steckley
FAVOURITE SURFACE : Clay
SHOES : Nike
RACQUET : Wilson
CLOTHING : Nike
WTA TITLES (singles) : 7 (Estoril 2005, Forest Hills 2005, Gold Coast 2006, Forest Hills 2008, Quebec City 2013, Doha 2015 and Prague 2016)
Lucie was born on the 04th February 1987 in Brno (Czech Republic) and lived in Prostejov (Czech Republic). Her parents are named Milan (her father is a tennis coach and was Lucie’s first coach) and Jana. She has one sister, Veronika, who is 10 years older than Lucie. She has one daugther named Lea who was born in December 2019. She also has 2 nieces. Her dog is named Rocky.
Lucie started to play tennis when she was 3 years old. At age 10, she moved to Austria for 2 years because of her father’s work. She went to school in Austria and practiced there with her dad.
When she was 14 years old, Lucie made her debut on the ITF Women Circuit, in Plzen (CZE). She captured 3 titles on the ITF Junior Tour and also reached the quarterfinals in Prague (CZE).
Lucie continued playing the ITF Junior Tournaments. She won the title at the Hong Kong Open Junior Championships and was a finalist at the Osaka Mayor´s Championships – World Super Junior Tennis Championships. On 14t October, she reached her highest Junior ranking in singles : #8 and on 09th December, she reached her highest Junior doubles ranking : #12.
Lucie played six more ITF Women Tournaments and was a finalist in Valasske Mezirici (CZE).
She also reached the semifinals in Greenville (USA) and in Ostrava (CZE).
She won her first two ITF Women Titles, in Bergamo (ITA) and Bastad (SWE) and reached the final of 2 other tournaments.
She made her debut on the WTA Tour by playing the qualifying rounds of the US Open as well as the qualifying rounds in Philadelphia (USA).
In July she became part of the Czech Fed Cup Team and won the doubles rubber with M. Pastikova against Estonia in the Play Offs.
2005 was a good season for Lucie. Not only she won her first 2 WTA tournaments but she also broke into the Top 50:
Ranked #155 in the world, she played the qualifying rounds of Estoril (POR). It was only the 7th WTA tournament that she was playing and the 3rd time she was entering a main draw. She beat Ruano Pascual, Dulko and won the title after defeating No. 4 seeded Na Li. in the final.
Shortly later, she reached the final of s´-Hertogenbosch (NED) but lost to fellow Czech Klara Koukalova.
In Forest Hill, she won her second WTA title after defeating #3 Seed Sania Mirza in the final.
Lucie made her debut in Roland Garros and in Wimbledon but lost in the first round, respectively to Nicole Vaidisova and to #12 seed Mary Pierce.
She entered the Main Draw of the US Open but lost in the first round against #6 seed Elena Dementieva.
That year, she also won 3 titles on the ITF Womens Circuit : Prostejov (CZE), Capriolo (ITA) and Redding (USA).
After winning the title in Prostejov, she broke into the Top 100 by reaching #77 in June 2005 and in November – after playing Hasselt – she broke into the Top 50 for the first time (as #50).
In the beginning of the year, she captured her 3rd and biggest title in Gold Coast (AUS). On the way to the final, she defeated for the first time a top 10 player : the defending champion Patty Schnyder. She made her Australian Open debut but lost in the 1st round to Sanchez Lorenzo, in 3 sets. In April, she reached her 5th semifinals, at Amelia Island and moved to her highest ranking as #27.
That year, she played for the first time the singles rubbers in Fed Cup, for the quaterfinals against France. She lost to Nathalie Dechy and Tatiana Golovin. She also reached the semifinals in Palermo as # 4 seed (she lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues).
2007 was Lucie’s breakthrough season. For the first time, she reached the quaterfinals of a Grand Slam, at the Australian Open, even defeating Amelie Mauresmo. In Paris, indoors, she beat Pironkova, Vaidisova, Kuznetsova and Henin to reach the final. She was defeated in 3 sets by the Russian Nadia Petrova. She also reached the semifinals of Estoril.
In Roland Garros, she reached the 4th round by defeating Amelie Mauresmo again. She lost to Anna Chakvedatze (RUS). In August, she broke her highest ranking : #22. Due to an injury, she unfortunately had to skip some tournaments towards the end of the season.
Lucie struggled to find her rhythm. After some early losses (especially during the first round of Grand Slams), she reached her first quaterfinals of the year in Barcelona but had to retire. She reached the final in Forest Hills (lost to Peng) and the semifinals in Poitiers (FRA).
Lucie reached the quaterfinals of Brisbane where she defeated Samantha Stosur, as well as the quaterfinals of Memphis, Moneterrey and Barcelona.
In Toronto, she she defeated U. Radwanska, K. Kanepi, A. Ivanovic and J. Zheng to reach the quaterfinals.
In september, Lucie booked a spot in the final of Quebec. Later in the year, she also reached the quaterfinals of Linz.
Lucie reached the quaterfinals of Brisbane (lost to Clijsters) and was finalist in Paris (she was defeated by Dementieva in a tough 3-sets match).
She also reached the quaterfinals in Stuttgart and Rome. In Madrid, on her way to the semifinals, she defeated Sharapova, Govortsova, Dulgheru and Petrova until she had to retire against Rezai.
She also reached the semifinals of Bastad and Quebec.
Lucie reached the quarterfinals in Brisbane, Madrid, Toronto and the semifinals in Linz and Moscou. She was defeated twice in the final, once in Kuala Lumpur against Jelena Dokic and once in Copenhagen by Caroline Wozniacki.
She also reached the 3rd round of the Australian and US Open.
At the end of the season, with the Czech Fed Cup Team, she won the Fed Cup for the first time of her career (against Russia).
2012 is a good season for Lucie. Besides quarterfinals in Sydney, Doha, Eastbourne and New Haven, she also reached the semifinals in Montreal.
She was finalist in Charleston and in Prague. She broke her personal record with a new high ranking, as #17 in the world.
During the summer, Rob Steckley worked with her for the first time, as part-time coach.
At the Fed Cup final against Serbia, Lucie brought 2 points to the Czech Republic by winning both of her singles rubbers against the Serbians, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. For the second year in a row, she was part of the team that won the Fed Cup.
Lucie reached the quaterfinals in Paris, Charleston, Eastbourne, Tokyo, Beijing and the semifinals of Nurnberg.
She was defeated in the final of Prague but won the title in Québec. Rob Steckley became Lucie’s full time coach.
Following quaterfinals in Sydney, Lucie failed to qualify for the 4th round of the Australian Open, after missing a match point against Li Na.
For the first time since 2007, she reached the 4th round of a Grand Slam, in Roland Garros, defeating Ana Ivanovic.
But she showed her best performance of the year in Wimbledon where she reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the very first time of her career. After defeating Julia Goerges, Polona Hercog, Dominika Cibulkova, Tereza Smitkova and Ekaterina Makarova, she lost the semifinals against Petra Kvitova who eventually won the tournament. That year, she also reached the 4th round of the US Open for the first time but was stopped by Peng Shuai.
On 8th of September, Lucie reached a new career high, as #14. Towards the end of the season, she also qualified for the quarterfinals in Tokyo and the semifinals in Moscow.
In november, Lucie won her Fed Cup single Rubber against Angelique Kerber, in 2 straight sets.
For the 3rd time in 4 years, she brought the trophy to the Czech Republic, with her team.
In 2015, Lucie reached the best results of her career, breaking into the top 5 both in singles and doubles.
At the Australian Open, she teamed up in doubles with the American Bethanie Mattek-Sands for the first time. With Bethanie, Lucie won her very first Grand Slam title in doubles, even though they had never played together before.
After quaterfinals in Antwerp and Dubaï, she won the tournament in Doha, reaching a new career high : #11.
In Roland Garros, she reached the first Grand Slam final of her career, becoming the first Czech to reach the Roland Garros final since 1981. Despite a difficult draw, she managed to beat in straight sets the defending champion Maria Sharapova, Garbine Muguruza and Ana Inavovic. She was defeated in a tough 3 sets final by Serena Williams (3-6, 7-6, 2-6). She broke into the top 10 for the first time of her career, as #6.
She completed a rare performance by also reaching the doubles final in the French Open. Playing once again with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Lucie won her second Grand Slam doubles title of the year.
In Wimbledon, despite the last exhausting weeks, she reached the 4th round, stopped by Coco Vandeweghe. During the summer, she won the Doubles title of the Roger Cup – still with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Following this success, Team “Bucie” qualified for the WTA Doubles final in Singapore.
Lucie continued her excellent season by reaching the quaterfinals in Cincinnati and the final in New Haven. Bothered by an abdominal tear, Lucie lost in the first round of the US Open and withdrew from the doubles. On 14th of September, she broke into the top 5 (as #5).
The rest of the season was a nightmare for Lucie : victim of a bacterial infection, she had to stay one week in the hospital and had to skip the Asian swing. After 5 weeks of break, she returned to the competition in Linz. She struggled a lot and lost in the first round, both in Linz and in Moscow. Fortunately, thanks to her previous great results, she managed to secure the very last spot for the WTA Single finals (Singapore).
In Singapore, she failed to qualify for the semifinals, losing to Muguruza and Kvitova. She beat Angelique Kerber, allowing Petra Kvitova to qualify for the semifinals. Due to Bethanie’s withdrawal (injury), Lucie couldn’t play the doubles semifinals either. In doubles, she also entered the top 5, (#4).
In november, even though she was selected to play the Fed Cup Final, she had to stay in the box due to wrist inflammation. However, having successfuly played the Fed Cup semifinals, she lifted again the Fed Cup trophy, for the 4th time in 5 years. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with reactive arthritis, a consequence of her previous bacterial infection. This illness forced her to fully rest for a few months and prevented her from training during the off-season.
Still suffering from reactive arthritis, Lucie took a couple of months off the tour and couldn’t play the Australian Open. During her convalescence, she mostly stayed in Brno, Czech Republic. At the end of January, she announced that she could restart training. A few days later, she flew to Qatar in order to prepare her come back in Doha. But times were tough for Lucie : due to a long period without any physical training, she was no longer fit and moved slower on court. Back to square 1, Lucie confessed her frustration but also her motivation and hope to come back stronger. Fortunately she found success in doubles with her partner Bethanie Mattek-sands. Together, they won the tournament in Mami and reached the final of Charleston.
She came to Prague, having no win behind her and a series of 5 losses. Improving her game after each match, she beat Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals. After serving 14 aces, she defeated Samantha Stosur in the final and won her first title of 2016 and her 7th career title.
In Roland Garros, having a lot of runner up points to defend, she managed to limit the damage by reaching the 3rd round. She missed her chance to qualify for the 4th round after a great and tight match against Samantha Stosur. In Wimbledon, she survived each of the tough battles she faced until she fell to Yaroslava Shvedova on the 4th round.
During the Summer, she participated in the Olympics in Rio, both in singles and doubles. Due to a stomach virus, she was forced to retire during the second round in singles. Following the withdrawal of her original partner, Karolina Pliskova, she teamed up with Barbora Strycova. Facing a tough challenge, they managed to beat the Williams Sisters in the first round. Reaching the semifinals, Lucie and Barbora won their very first Olympic medal (bronze).
At the US Open, after a great performance in the first round against Daria Gavrilova, she was stopped in the next round by Simona Halep. She won the US Open doubles title with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, having won 3 different Grand Slams together in 2 years. Shortly after, she announced the end of her collaboration with Rob Steckley and started working with Frantisek Cermak.
She had great success in doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands on the Asian swing : they won both Wuhan and Beijing, qualifying for the WTA Finals (doubles). Dropping to rank #64, Lucie decided to not take part in the Fed Cup Final in order to rest and focus on her off-season training. In Singapore, she reached the doubles final with Bethanie, defeated by the Russians Makarova & Vesnina.
Lucie won a second doubles title at the Australian Open with Bethanie Mattek-Sands against Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai (6-7, 6-3, 6-3). This was their 4th Grand Slam title together and allowed Lucie to reach her highest doubles ranking (#2).
Lucie got a wild card for Taipei where she reached the semifinals but was stopped by Peng Shuai (4-6, 2-6). She was selected to be part of the Czech Fed Cup team in the tie against Spain, with Karolina Pliskova, Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova.
In Budapest, she reached the final, which boosted her confidence: she reached R3 in Indian wells, the quarterfinals in Miami. In Charleston, she reached the third round in singles and claimed a 10th doubles title together with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Her clay season was affected by another bacterial infection which led to a series of first round losses, including a shocking defeat at the French Open against Verónica Cepede Royg (1-6, 4-6). But she found success on the french clay by winning the doubles title for the second time, with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. This was their 5th Grand Slam Title together and the 3rd in a row .
After Paris, she immediately started her grass season in Nottingham, where she reached the semifinals. She repeated the same performance in Birmingham, where she even won the WTA shot of the month during her match against Daria Gavrilova. She appeared in a great shape on grass. In Wimbledon, Lucie’s run was badly affected by Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ fall (serious knee injury). Team Bucie’s hopes for a career grand Slam were crushed as they couldn’t compete further than the second round. Lucie happened to play her R2 singles match minutes after the incident. Very upset by the recent events, Lucie couldn’t focus properly and exited the tournament early.
With Bethanie Mattek-Sands out of the courts for the rest of the season, Lucie decided to team up with Barbora Strycova at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Together, they reached the semi-final while in singles, Lucie advanced to the quarterfinals. In Cincinnati, Lucie suffered from an early exist (lost to Stephens). However, she reached the doubles semifinals again, still with Barbora Strycova. Following this victory, Lucie became World number 1 in doubles for the first time of her career (August 21st). She was the 35th WTA player and the 4th Czech to be on top of the doubles world ranking. At the US Open, she reached her best result at a Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2016 by qualifying for the 4th round. She reached the semifinals in Quebec but was forced to end prematurely her season shortly after that, due to a wrist injury.
Lucie restarted her partnership with her previous coach, Rob Steckley. She also took part in the My Tennis Life show on Tennis Channel which allowed fans to follow her during the whole year.
She started the 2018 season in Sydney where she lost her first match, against Angelique Kerber (7-6, 6-7, 2-6). At the Australian Open, she reached R3 after winning against Ajla Tomljanović (7-5, 6-3) and Sorana Cîrstea (6-2, 6-4). She was defeated by Karolína Plíšková (6-7, 5-7). She reached the doubles quarterfinals with Barbora Strýcová.
She was nominated to play the Fed Cup tie against Switzerland. She then went to Doha but lost the first round to Julia Görges (1-6, 5-7). In Dubai, a virus weakened her and she was defeated in the first round by Caroline Garcia (3-6, 5-7). This match was followed by a long period of illness during which she was unable to train, which forced her to postpone her reunion with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Lucie withdrew from Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Stuttgart and Prague. She could not take part in the Fed Cup semifinals as she was still unable to play.
She returned to the tennis courts in Strasbourg, after receiving a wildcard. She won her first match against Marina Melnikova (6-2, 4-6, 6-3) but was then defeated by Su-Wei Hsieh (2-6, 3-6). Against all expectations, she appeared fit in Roland Garros, even though she was defeated in the 2nd round by WTA #6 Karolina Pliskova, in a 3 sets match (6-3, 4-6, 1-6).
She started her grass season in Mallorca where she reached her best result of the season: the quarterfinals. In Wimbledon, she finally could reunite with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, one year after the American’s injury. Together, they reached the quarterfinals. In singles, Lucie reached the third round, even defeating the former finalist Agnieszka Radwanska (7-5, 6-4).
She was forced to play qualifications in Montreal and was defeated in the second round of the main draw by Julia Görges (6-2, 4-6, 3-6). At the US Open, she reached the second round, losing to Ashleigh Barty (5-7, 3-6).
In Quebec, after losing the first round to Ons Jabeur (6-7, 6-3, 5-7), Lucie decided to end her 2018 season and to skip the asian swing as her imune system remained too fragile. Lucie only played 11 tournaments in 2018 and her ranking dropped to #106. It was the first time that she was out of the Top 100. The match against Jabeur was the very last singles match of her career.
On November 10th, while she was in Prague to support the Czech Team during the Fed Cup final against USA, she announced her upcoming retirement. She explained that her recurrent health issues were the main reason behind that decision. On the next day, Czech Republic won the Fed Cup trophy, allowing Lucie to win the title for the 5th time (even though she was not nominated for the final, she participated to the first tie in February).
Lucie was forced to skip the Australian Open due to a wrist injury. She returned to the competition in April, during the Fed Cup tie against Canada. She won the doubles rubber – her very last Fed Cup match – with Barbora Krejcikova (7-6, 7-5). She got a standing ovation from the crowd.
After receiving a wildcard for doubles, she went to Stuttgart where she played with her friend Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Together they reached the final that they lost to Mona Barthel et Anna-Lena Friedsam (6-2, 3-6, 6-10).
Not feeling fit for competition, Šafářová refused the wildcard offered by the Prague tournament and recommended to redirect the wildcard to a young Czech player, Karolina Muchova – who reached the final.
Lucie competed in doubles in Prague, with Barbora Stefkova, but they lost their first match (4-6, 6-4, 11-13). A few days later, the Prague tournament organised an emotional farewell for her.
It’s at the French Open that Lucie played the last match of her career. On May 29th, she lost the first round of the doubles competition, with her friend Dominika Cibulkova. After the match, she confirmed her retirement, effective immediately.
However, she mentioned that she would like to come back to the tennis world at a later stage, and in another capacity. On the next day, she received an award at the French Open, in honour of her achievements in Paris (runner up in 2015 and 2 doubles titles in 2015 and 2017).