Hlavackova & Hradecka Shock Williamses
Published September 06, 2013 12:01
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka ended the Williams sisters' quest for a 14th Grand Slam doubles title and third US Open crown with a stunning upset in the semifinals on Friday.
Considering the Williamses came into the contest 13-1 in Grand Slam semifinals, 111-10 in Grand Slam matches and 5-0 against Hlavackova and Hradecka, those who had already penciled the sisters into Saturday's final versus Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua could be forgiven.
But the fifth-seeded Hlavackova and Hradecka did not appear intimidated and jumped on the Williamses early and thwarted every comeback attempt en route to the 64 62 triumph.
The key stat was break point chances, with the Czechs converting on five of seven on the usually impenetrable serves of the sisters. And Serena and Venus only converted on two of eight break opportunities on Hlavackova and Hradecka's serve.
"Both of us played top of our game and that's what you need to beat the Williams sisters," Hlavackova said.
Hlavackova and Hradecka have split their two prior meetings with Barty and Dellacqua, beating them in straight sets in Fed Cup earlier this year and losing to them in three sets in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon earlier this summer.
Hlavackova and Hradecka will be contesting their fourth Grand Slam doubles final, having won the 2011 French Open and having been runners-up at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2012. Barty and Dellacqua will be in their third Grand Slam doubles final, having been runners-up at this year's Australian Open and Wimbledon.
As if Friday wasn't memorable enough for Hlavackova, she also captured her first mixed doubles Grand Slam title alongside Max Mirnyi earlier in the day.
"It was great that I had a chance today to play the mixed doubles final, and I was really warmed up, especially with my serve in the big stadium," Hlavackova said. "It's a huge advantage to have played there."