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Barbora Krejcikova aims for Roland Garros sweep with good friend Katerina Siniakova by her side
The Czech duo first became WTA Co-No. 1s in women's doubles in 2018; at the time, Krejcikova was ranked outside the Top 200 in singles.
Published Jun 11, 2021
WATCH: Barbora Krejcikova aims to become the first woman to win both singles and doubles in Paris in 21 years.
When Barbora Krejcikova first became the No. 1 doubles player in 2018, she was ranked outside the Top 200 in singles.
Less than three years later the Czech is projected to close in on her Top 20 debut after a breakout Roland Garros, and aims to become the first to sweep the singles and doubles trophies at a major tournament since Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2016.
The feat hasn’t been accomplished in Paris since Mary Pierce pulled it off alongside Martina Hingis in the year 2000.
“I did all the talking about singles yesterday,” Krejcikova joked when she and longtime partner, former Co-No. 1 Katerina Siniakova, entered the press room after trouncing surprise semifinalists Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera, 6-1, 6-2. “Let’s talk about doubles.”
Indeed, Krejcikova’s doubles story is as fascinating as her singles; she and Siniakova first teamed up as juniors in 2013 to win three of the four girl’s doubles Grand Slam titles.
While Siniakova immediately transitioned onto the pro circuit as a Top 100 stalwart, Krejcikova struggled for the same consistency, ranking as low as No. 267 the same year her good friend made her Top 50 debut.
Their reunion on the doubles court in 2018 further exposed Krejcikova’s diverging career arc; in between winning back-to-back major titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the Czech was playing on the ITF level in an arduous attempt to build her singles ranking.
“It was really tough playing ITFs because the schedule, the WTA in doubles, the schedule was tough,” she recalled on Friday, quite literally balancing two careers for much of her time in tennis. “It was tight. Sometimes we played well, then I missed the tournament, then I wasn't ready to play. It was difficult.”
She nonetheless began an earnest rise up the singles rankings not long after leading the world in doubles, winning four ITF Pro Circuit titles in 2019. The 25-year-old only emerged stronger out of the subsequent COVID-19 lockdown with a run to the fourth round in Paris last fall.
“Right now, I just want to keep the level. I just want to stay here. I don't want to go backwards. I just hope that I'll be able and fit enough just to play singles and doubles during the other tournaments as well.”
From juniors to here, it's really long journey. I appreciate it that we are still here. We play good. We are like a team, and we’re getting know each other more and more. I think we doing really great. Katerina Siniakova
Siniakova, who grabbed her own headlines on the singles court when she stunned Serena Williams last month in Parma, has been by her side through it all, and is eager to not only assist Krejcikova with the sweep, but also win a third major title of her own against Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Iga Swiatek.
“From juniors to here, it's really long journey. I appreciate it that we are still here. We play good. We are like a team, and we’re getting know each other more and more. I think we doing really great. I think it's really important for doubles, so I'm happy about it. I think it's really hard because, of course, the other girls know us, but I think we doing really great job.”
“Katka was doing really well today,” Krejcikova added. “She was really helping me, and I'm looking forward that I'm going to play two more times on Chatrier. It's always perfect to play this court because it's a beautiful court. I think it's going to be a lot of fun playing these two finals.”