Czech defending champions reach doubles final at Australian Open

Barbora Krejčíková

The Czech duo of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková have reached the final of tennis’s Australian Open for the third time in a row. The defending champions and top seeds will face the Japanese pairing of Aoyama and Shibahara for the title on Sunday.

Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková are currently ranked world number one and two, respectively, in the women’s doubles.

They have been winning Grand Slam doubles titles together for half a decade.

In the 2018 season the Czechs were crowned champions in both the French Open and Wimbledon.

Since then Krejčíková and Siniaková, now aged 27 and 26 respectively, have picked up four other major titles, including last season’s Australian Open.

In fact they won three of four Grand Slams last year, missing out on the French Open after Siniaková tested positive for Covid.

However, the earlier win in Paris means that the Czechs do hold the coveted Golden Slam of all the majors.

On top of that they took Olympic gold for Czechia at Tokyo 2020. The same year, 2021, they won the WTA Finals for the first time.

The pair are now hoping to defend their 2022 Melbourne title after overcoming the Ukrainian-Romanian duo of Marta Kostyuk and Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-2 6-2 in 80 minutes on Friday.

The Czechs broke their opponents’ serve twice from 3:2 in the first set and soon established a 5:1 lead in the second thanks to two breaks.

In an on-court interview after the match Barbora Krejčíková gave her response to the pair’s qualification for their third Melbourne final in a row.

“I really have to say that I’m happy with how we played today. I think we did a really good performance. It was a difficult match because the girls got to the semi-finals so they know how to play. We had to show our best game, and I’m happy that we did.”

For her part Kateřina Siniaková referenced the couple’s previous appearances at the Rod Laver Arena.

“It means a lot to be back, in the final. I love to play here and, as Bara said, I’m so happy that we played so well today – and we will try to show our best in the final.”

That match on Sunday will pit the Czechs against the Japanese pairing of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara. They overcame the Americans Cori Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-2 7-6.

Incidentally after first making her name as a doubles specialist, Barbora Krejčíková is now quite a force in women’s singles.

In 2021 she won the French Open for her only singles Grand Slam to date.

In February last year the Brno-born player reached a career-high number two in the singles rankings, though now she is outside the top 20.

On top of her other successes Krejčíková also has three mixed doubles Grand Slams to her name.