No.1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic went down to the wire before they won their 15th career WTA doubles title as a team at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.
The top-seeded Czechs overcame the unseeded pairing of Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and Laura Siegemund of Germany 6-1, 6-7(3), [10-7] in just under 2 hours to take the Indian Wells title for the first time. They previously were runners-up to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka in 2019.
Words from the winners: “It’s very nice to win another title,” Krejcikova said, in the champions’ press conference. “I think the whole tournament was very difficult. I felt that we played many tight matches, especially at the beginning. I’m really happy with the way how the match today turned out at the end.”
“Super-tiebreak, it’s really quick, so you kind of need to be ready from the beginning,” Siniakova added, reflecting on the close finish. “There is a lot of emotions and a lot of thoughts, but you just need to pick every ball and you just keep fighting. I think that’s what’s helping us.”
Back in the WTA 1000 winner’s circle: The Czechs, who became the seventh team in the Open Era to complete the Career Grand Slam in women’s doubles when they won last year’s US Open, collected their third career WTA 1000 title with the win in the Californian desert.
The Czechs have been particularly rampant at the Grand Slams of late. They have won four of the last five majors by compiling a 24-match Grand Slam winning streak (they were unable to play Roland Garros last year after Krejcikova tested positive for Covid-19 before their first-round match).
But despite their recent Slam dominance, this is their first WTA 1000 title in nearly two years. Before this week, the most recent WTA 1000 title Krejcikova and Siniakova claimed was at Madrid in May of 2021.
Still undefeated in 2023: Krejcikova and Siniakova are 11-0 as a duo this season. In their lone previous event as a team this year, they successfully defended their Australian Open crown to notch their seventh Grand Slam women’s doubles title as a pairing.
Overall, Siniakova has won 22 WTA doubles titles in her career, while this marks Krejcikova’s 16th doubles title on tour.
Siniakova is currently enjoying her 68th week at WTA Doubles World No.1. Doubles World No.2 Krejcikova has also been ranked World No.1 in doubles for 19 weeks in her career (12 of those concurrently with Siniakova).
Tale of the tape: After the first set, which Krejcikova and Siniakova took without facing a break point, very little separated the world’s top team from Haddad Maia and Siegemund, who paired up for the first time this fortnight.
Krejcikova and Siniakova fended off three straight set points at 5-4 in the second set, and the Czechs grabbed their first two championship points two games later after a stirring rally ended with a sturdy Siniakova volley.
However, Haddad Maia and Siegemund forced errors from the No.1 seeds on those chances and battled their way into a tiebreak. There, Haddad Maia’s power game and Siegemund’s deft net play allowed the unseeded duo to tie up the final after over an hour of second-set action.
In the decisive match-tiebreak, Krejcikova slammed a forehand winner down the middle to give her squad an 8-5 advantage, and they garnered three more championship points after Haddad Maia missed a forehand wide for 9-6.
Krejcikova and Siniakova prevailed on their fourth championship point, taking the hard-fought victory with a Krejcikova backhand return winner.