Melbourne : The Czech Republic’s pair of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova clinched their fourth Grand Slam women’s doubles title as a team, defeating Kazakhstan’s Anna Danilina and Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Australian Open final here on Sunday.
This was the No.1 seeds’ maiden Australia Open title and came after the Czech duo overcame a spirited challenge from the unseeded pair of Danilina and Haddad Maia 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4.
Siniakova, ranked world No.1, and Krejcikova, No.2 in the doubles, had lost in the final of the 2021 Australian Open, falling to Belgian-Belarusian pair of Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka.
But the Czechs prevailed this time around in an engrossing two-hour and 42-minute contest. Krejcikova and Siniakova added to their two French Open titles (2018 and 2021) and their 2018 Wimbledon title, which means they only need to win the US Open title for a career Grand Slam.
Tokyo Olympic Games gold medallists Krejcikova and Siniakova have improved one step further in each of the last five editions of the Australian Open. They lost in the round of 16 in their 2018 debut, reached the 2019 quarterfinals, the 2020 semifinals, and the 2021 final before their title this year.
For Danilina and Haddad Maia, the defeat ended their exceptional run. They had paired up for the first time two weeks ago and won the Sydney title before making their first Grand Slam final in Melbourne. The duo won the first nine matches of their partnership.
Haddad Maia was the third Brazilian woman to reach a Grand Slam final, according to wtatennis.com. Maria Bueno won a total of 19 Grand Slam titles between 1959 and 1968 (seven singles, 11 women’s doubles and one mixed doubles), and Claudia Monteiro reached the mixed doubles final at 1982 Roland Garros.
Danilina was ranked No.100 in doubles coming into Sydney, but hit a career-high of No.53 after that title, and will leave the Australian Open with a projected top-25 doubles ranking. Haddad Maia will also reach a new career-high doubles ranking, projected to crack the top-45.