NEW YORK, NY, USA - Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka followed up their electric semifinal win over the Williams sisters with a thrilling three set win over Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final, capturing the US Open doubles title - their second Grand Slam doubles title together.
After dropping a tight 46-minute first set in a tie-break, the No.5-seeded Hlavackova and Hradecka lifted their game in a big way, making just one unforced error - far outweighed by 11 winners - in a lopsided 30-minute second set, 6-1. The third set was close again, but the No.8-seeded Barty and Dellacqua were just too erratic in the end - both teams had 12 winners in that set, but the Czechs had six unforced errors to the Australians' 11 - and the Czechs managed to close it out, 67(4) 61 64.
Hlavackova discussed her team's dynamic at 4-all in the third set, when they got the critical break.
"We didn't talk much - it was more about looking at each other and trusting each other on that return game," Hlavackova said. "Obviously in a close game I need to get something on the deuce side to give Lucie a chance to close it. First she didn't close it, but then she did. I knew she was having some great games in our semifinal match yesterday, and I knew she would play well again today in the final.
"I think we clicked right away here, from the first match, even though we had no matches to prepare, really. It's been a great wave we've been riding these two weeks. I cannot describe how I feel."
And the win over the Williams sisters was pretty huge - not only had the Williamses beaten No.1 seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals, but only one team in history has been able to stop them at the semifinal stage or deeper at a Grand Slam, and that came all the way back at the 1999 Australian Open (Lindsay Davenport and Natasha Zvereva in the semis).
"It was a great bonus to beat the Williams sisters, because it's something special that we hadn't done in our careers yet," Hlavackova said. "On top of the Grand Slam trophy, we really wanted to go through the best teams out there. We had the toughest draw possible from the first round, where we were beating players who had beaten us at other Grand Slams. And beating Petrova and Srebotnik was an extremely tough match. I would never take that for granted. And the Williams sisters too - amazing."
"I've already gotten a lot of messages," Hradecka added. "One was our Fed Cup captain, who wrote me, 'Okay now we can go to sleep, so well done!' But I think a lot of people at home watched this on TV, and a lot of people are happy we got another Grand Slam. It's something big for our small country."
Hlavackova and Hradecka's first Grand Slam doubles title together came at the 2011 French Open.
Also, Hlavackova won the mixed doubles title here with Max Mirnyi - she is the first player to sweep the women's doubles and mixed doubles titles at the same Grand Slam since Cara Black achieved the feat at the 2008 US Open (women's doubles with Liezel Huber, mixed doubles with Leander Paes).
How will Hlavackova bring both trophies home? "Last year they sent the trophies, so I'm totally fine," she commented. "Even if they didn't, I would pay extra for extra luggage for trophies like that!"
And how will the Czech pair celebrate? "Tonight we're probably going to go to our friend's club and really celebrate, because after all of our successes before, we never really had a chance to directly celebrate the great results," Hlavackova explained. "So today I said to Lucie, 'We're going no matter what. I don't care if your flight is in the morning. We're just going to go there and spin it.'"