Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova’s Grand Slam dream continues after they won the ladies’ doubles title for the second time.
The Czech pair beat No.1 seeds Elise Mertens and Shuai Zhang 6-2, 6-4 for a fifth Grand Slam doubles championship.
The No.2 seeds won the Wimbledon girls’ doubles title in 2013 and followed that up with ladies’ doubles success in 2018. They extend their match record together at Wimbledon to 17 wins against just three losses.
The pair are in no doubt that SW19 brings out their best. “I hope it’s not just at Wimbledon,” Siniakova said. “But, I mean, it’s really nice here. It’s amazing. The atmosphere is great. We just try to show our best every time we step on the court.”
There’s an undeniable bonus in the Czechs doing so together, with Krejcikova noting their “characters, they just match”. As their latest triumph demonstrated, the smooth partnership also fuels an enviable competitive spirit.
“We fight all the time, no matter what’s happening on the court we just never give up,” she said.
With their record strengthening, Krejcikova and Siniakova are high on motivation, although reluctant to name specific goals.
“I think the main goals are the Slams, (we) really want to do well there. Just in general just improving, getting better, getting to know each other more, trying to improve our game, our game style,” Krejcikova said.
“I mean, in doubles but also in singles because we are both also singles players. We just want to keep going, keep having fun, just try to be better players and better people every single day.”
Mertens was aiming to defend the 2021 Wimbledon title she claimed alongside Su-Wei Hsieh. But while Mertens and Zhang had dropped just one set on their way to the final, their steely Czech opponents presented a difficult challenge.
There was a notable contrast in early service games, Krejcikova holding to love to start the match before Zhang surrendered a break from a 40-0 advantage. A break point was saved on Siniakova’s serve before the Czechs claimed a 3-0 lead.
It set the scene for a commanding performance for the experienced duo, who combined purpose with precision to maintain their first-set advantage. As Mertens served in the first set, Siniakova dominated at the net to earn a first set point opportunity. After 32 minutes, Krejcikova seized it with a perfectly placed forehand winner.
WE FIGHT ALL THE TIME, NO MATTER WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE COURT WE JUST NEVER GIVE UP
Krejcikova and Siniakova’s long partnership has now yielded 12 titles, their progress undoubtedly helped by the easy synchronicity they’ve developed in the eight years they’ve competed together at Tour level. Communication seemed noticeably less seamless for Mertens and Zhang, who were contesting at only their third event as a team.
With the Czechs managing the occasion superbly, the newer partnership worked hard to find answers in the second set. There was a breakthrough of sorts as they gained a break on the Siniakova serve in the seventh game. But two double faults were a factor as Mertens struggled to consolidate, with the Czechs breaking back to level the set.
A dominant serve was a feature for the accomplished Krejcikova, who lost just two points on serve in her five service games. With her fifth hold of the match providing a 6-2, 5-4 lead, all pressure was on Zhang in the 10th game. The 33-year-old couldn’t withstand it. A double fault and a forehand error secured the Championship for Krejcikova and Siniakova.
Thanking her supporters, an emotional Krejcikova made special mention of her parents, Karel and Pavla, who had travelled to London to watch the final.
“I have a lot of emotions right now, flowing inside of me. I was really just looking forward to playing such a big match on Centre Court and in front of the Royal Box,” the 26-year-old said.
That was also true for Siniakova, also 26, who appreciates the special place that Wimbledon holds in tennis history. “It’s really hard to describe,” she said. “There’s a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings.
“The atmosphere here on the Centre Court – it’s a privilege to play here.”