No Stopping Hlavackova & Hradecka
Published September 10, 2013 12:01
It was a phenomenal fortnight for Hlavackova and Hradecka, with Hlavackova winning her first Grand Slam mixed doubles title alongside Max Mirnyi last Friday, then joining up with Hradecka for a great finish to the women's doubles event, beating the Williams sisters in the semifinals on Friday night and then Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final on Saturday night. Hlavackova became the first player to sweep the doubles and mixed at a Grand Slam since Cara Black at the 2008 US Open.
"It was amazing getting that experience on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the mixed doubles final - it really helped me prepare for the night match against the Williams sisters," Hlavackova said. "It was really important I was ready so me and Lucie could get through that semifinal match with Venus and Serena.
"We had a very good day that day, and the next day too. We played our best. We were approaching all our opponents like regular opponents and the mindset worked. Now we know it's not impossible."
Even after a long two weeks and only one day off in between, Hlavackova and Hradecka made their way up to Québec City and played their first round doubles match on Monday night. Seeded No.1, they took just 66 minutes to dispatch the wildcard pairing of Sofia Arvidsson and Stéphanie Dubois, 75 62.
It was a strong finish to a tiring last few days. "It's a beautiful feeling having the other players coming up to us and congratulating us, but we feel very tired!" Hlavackova said. "It has been a very busy last few days. I feel like I want to sleep all day. But we were very happy with our first doubles match here."
"I feel maybe a little bit better than Andrea because I slept in the afternoon!" Hradecka said. "It's a tough adjustment, because we were playing outside in New York and the court is different, but also we did so well in New York and won a lot of matches, so I think it was good preparation for here."
Tuesday is a real off day for Hlavackova and Hradecka, and then they will both play their first round singles matches on Wednesday - and singles is definitely a priority for the Czechs going forward.
"We feel like there's much more to accomplish in singles for both of us," Hlavackova said. "That's what we're concentrating on the next few years. We enjoy doubles, obviously, and we're going to keep playing of course, but we think it helps our singles because it can give you a lot of confidence.
"We both want to end the season being Top 100. It's just a matter of time for us to make the points, because we're playing well right now, so we just want to play a lot this fall and reach our goal."
Hlavackova and Hradecka have made WTA finals before - Hlavackova once, Hradecka six times, including here last year - but neither has lifted a WTA title in the individual discipline. Not yet, at least.
"Lucie played very well here last year," Hlavackova said. "I like the tournament too. I had to skip it last year because of injury, but I feel good right now and I'll just try to do my best here this year."
Hlavackova and Hradecka have two Grand Slam doubles titles together - the 2011 French Open and now the 2013 US Open. They are one of two all-Czech duos to win a Grand Slam doubles title in the Open Era, after Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova, who won four Grand Slam doubles titles together (Wimbledon in 1989 and then the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 1990).