Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková win WTA Finals in women’s doubles
Czech tennis duo Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková have won this year’s WTA Finals women’s doubles tournament in Mexico after beating Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens 6:3 and 6:4 in the final. The victory means that Kateřina Siniaková will end the season as world number one in the doubles category and comes as a perfect finish for the duo, which won gold at the Tokio Olympics as well as the French Open earlier this year.
A simple slice volley from Kateřina Siniaková ended Wednesday night’s doubles final game in Estadio Akron de Tenis in Guadalajara. As the stadium erupted into cheers, tennis legend Martina Navratilová could be seen clapping as her compatriots became the first ever all-Czech doubles team to win the final major tournament of the season.
Top seeds at this year’s WTA Finals, the two women had already beaten their opponents during the group stages. But Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens had put up a tougher fight in the final, almost managing to make it 5:5 before losing the last game of the match.
The Czechs were particularly strong when Barbora Krejčíková was serving with Kateřina Siniaková covering the net. They lost just one point in this set-up during the first set, which they won 6:3 after two successive breaks, although Siniaková also lost her own serve at the state of 4:2.
In the second set, the two Czechs managed to break Elise Mertens’ serve early to take a 2:0 lead and held on to their own service for the rest of the game.
Before lifting the cup, the players spoke to the fans in the stadium. Barbora Krejčíková used the opportunity to pay tribute to the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which brought an end to the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. Standing beside her was Martina Navratilová, who was born in Prague but emigrated to the US during the 1970s.
“We have Martina Navratilová here, who was forced to emigrate from Czechoslovakia because of the regime that was there. I am really happy that the regime is now gone and that we can live in freedom."
After the game, Krejčíková also looked back at this year’s season, which saw her not only deliver several major doubles successes with her partner Kateřina Siniaková, but also win the French Open singles. She said that both she and Siniaková play well when they are representing their country.
Kateřina Siniaková echoed her doubles partner’s words, switching from English to Czech mid-way in order to send thanks back home
“Thank you Bara for playing with me. You did an amazing season this year and I would like to thank you because it’s really hard work and we managed to both start and finish with a victory. I would also like to thank my team and everyone who is supporting us at home. I feel it and I am very thankful for it.”
The same day also saw 28-year-old Garbiñe Muguruza become the first ever Spanish player to win the WTA Finals women’s singles tournament, after beating Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 6:3 and 7:5.