Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova’s collection of trophies got even bigger this Sunday, when the very strong Czech partnership defended the Australian Open title . Top seeds Krejcikova and Siniakova won their seventh Grand Slam together after beating Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4 6-3 in the final.
In addition to reaching another title, the Czechs won the last 24 Grand Slam games they played. Last year, they were champions in Australia, Wimbledon and the US Open, and they just didn’t play together at Roland Garros because Krejcikova tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the tournament. This is the first time that a women’s duo has defended the title in Melbourne since Italy’s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci between 2013 and 2014.
Partners since youth days , Krejcikova is 27 years old and Siniakova is a year younger. They competed in the eighth Slam final in professional tennis. The first achievements were in 2018, when they won Roland Garros and Wimbledon in a row. Three years later, they would again be champions in Paris, in a perfect tournament for Krejcikova, also a winner in singles. Then came the three achievements of last year and more this year. The duo accumulates 14 titles in the circuit’s elite, in an account that also includes achievements such as the other Olympic in Tokyo and the 2021 WTA Finals.
“I’m very happy to have this trophy again,” Siniakova said at the post-match press conference on Sunday. “Looking back, everything we’ve achieved over the last few months is incredible. I’m really proud and we’re playing really well. Our team spirit is working.”
“I must say there is a lot of hard work behind it,” added Krejcikova. “I remember many tournaments where we came very close. Sometimes we got to the semifinals at other Slams and couldn’t get through. I’m very happy as part of this tennis generation, we’re trying to be the best. We’ve had a lot of success. I’m very happy and honored by it.”
Fifth partnership with seven or more Grand Slam
titles Krejcikova and Siniakova now form the fifth partnership with more Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. The record holders are Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver with 20. In second place are tied the sisters Venus and Serena Williams and also the partnership of Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva with 14 titles. The duo formed by the Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual and the Argentinian Paola Suarez accumulates eight conquests.
Japanese played in the first Slam final.
Runners-up doubles champions in Melbourne, the experienced Aoyama is 35 years old, while Shibahara is 24. Both reached a Grand Slam final for the first time in their careers. “We’re very happy with the way we’ve been playing,” Shibahara told the press. “I feel that we are improving every game and that the final was very close. Obviously our opponents were very good and solid. And I feel that the experience made the difference. I think next time we will have a better chance. proud of how we’ve been playing together and really excited about what’s going on.”
Czech dominance from the start of the match
Signing off in style ✍️💙
Ahoj 👋🇨🇿 @BKrejcikova @K_Siniakova#AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/UDZULu5Q5a
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2023
Although the doubles final started with long games and opportunities for both sides, Krejcikova and Siniakova built up an advantage early on. They managed a break of service early in the opening game and saved two break-points in a row to make it 2/0. After that, they would no longer have their serve threatened until the end of the set.
Right at the beginning of the second set, the Czechs managed another service break, and again made 2/0. With a sequence of good returns, the Japanese managed to break back and win three games in a row. But an excellent forehand winner from Krejcikova replaced the Czech pair with a break above, now leading 4/3. And after that, they kept the serve until they won another Grand Slam.