Magical Saturday For Peschke & Srebotnik
Published July 02, 2011 12:00
LONDON, England - They've been two of the best doubles players of the last decade, and for the last year and a half one of the best doubles teams - and on Saturday at Wimbledon, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik became Grand Slam champions and No.1s on the lawns of the All-England Club.
Having come very close to Grand Slam glory before - not just as a team but also before with other partners - it always seemed Peschke and Srebotnik were on the verge of a major breakthrough. Since forming their official partnership early last year they had already reached a Grand Slam final (2010 French Open) and won five WTA titles (including four Premier-level tournaments).
Seeded No.2 this fortnight, Peschke and Srebotnik survived some tough mid-tournament rounds, dropping the middle sets of both their third round against No.14 seeds Cara Black and Shahar Peer and their quarterfinal against No.8 seeds Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie. But it turned out their best was to come.
In the semifinals Peschke and Srebotnik dominated No.4 seeds Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina, 63 61, barely letting the French Open runners-up into the match, and in the final they pulled off an identical 63 61 win over surprise finalists Sabine Lisicki and Samantha Stosur, falling behind 1-3 but winning eight games in a row to go up 63 30 and take total control of the match.
With a mix of powerful serving and returning, quick reflexes at the net and unrelenting positivity rarely seen nowadays, their time had finally come.
"Through the whole tournament we really played extremely well," Srebotnik said. "Even though we were down 1-3 in the first set, we believed in this and knew we could win it if we performed the same. We just kept positive."
"And we stuck with it, what we wanted to do the whole time," Peschke said. "We never gave up on our strategy at any time. We're really happy about that."
"We also enjoyed this final," Srebotnik said. "Maybe we didn't want it too much - sometimes you burn when you want it too much, and you can't perform well, but we tried to enjoy every minute of it. It's Centre Court. It's amazing. I think winning a Grand Slam here in Wimbledon is special. It has some..."
"Magic," Peschke added.
Srebotnik talked about winning Wimbledon and the No.1 ranking, which she and Peschke will share come Monday. "It's impossible to describe these feelings. It hasn't sunk in yet. Tomorrow morning when we wake up, we'll realize we've achieved two big things. I've been in four finals before winning with Kveta now - you want to get that first Grand Slam under your belt. That's the first thing.
"And being No.1 is the dream of every player. Regardless of whether it's singles or doubles, it's a very big thing. We're very proud of that."
Srebotnik now has six Grand Slam titles to her name in the seniors, five in mixed (one Australian Open, three French Opens and one US Open) and one in women's doubles (Wimbledon). She also won one Grand Slam title in the juniors, the singles at Wimbledon in 1998 (beating Kim Clijsters in the final).
Peschke commented on winning her first Grand Slam title of any kind. "It's a terrific feeling. I've been playing for so many years, so this is the cherry on the cake. I'm very proud of us - we played magnificently the whole tournament and through the whole year. We're happy to have the trophy in our hands."