NEW YORK, NY, USA - Top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova are into the third round at the US Open after edging past the resurgent Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
“I think our fighting spirit was the key today,” Krejcikova said. “We really fought every single game, every single ball. We were up and down in the first set, very down in the second set too, and we just tried to play every point. Just tried to fight and be focused.
“I think that was the key, no matter what the score was. Fighting is the thing that we both have in common, and we just tried to make it as hard as we could.”
After starting the first set on a roll with an early break, Krejcikova and Siniakova extended their lead to 5-2 - they were serving for the set when Mattek-Sands and Safarova fought their way back to recover a break. But the Czech duo got back on track, playing even more aggressive to serve it out a few games later.
In the second set, Krejcikova and Siniakova had to fight back from a break deficit twice as Mattek-Sands and Safarova - former champions here in 2016 - looked set to mount a comeback. The Czechs made sure to stay within touching distance, and were rewarded with breaks back - they reeled off the last five games in a row to close out the match after an hour and 26 minutes.
“When we saw them in the draw we knew they would be a good team, but we both needed to win our first matches to get here,” Siniakova said. “We just tried to go on the court and show our best tennis, no matter the opponent.”
A title here, which would be the pair’s third straight Grand Slam trophy after sweeping Roland Garros and Wimbledon, would be extra sweet for Siniakova. She could rise the WTA World No.1 doubles ranking, overtaking Timea Babos after the US Open.
“I know that I’m close, but I didn’t really think I was so close to World No.1,” Siniakova said. “It’s really far away, and I didn’t think about it yet. We want to win the title and we will fight for it, and in the end if I can be No.1 it will be really nice.
“But we’re just trying to be focused on every match, be a team and work hard for the title.”
Also in action, No.2 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic stormed into the second round after a 6-0, 6-2 victory over American wildcards Nicole Gibbs and Sabrina Santamaria. No.9 seeds Johanna Larsson and Kiki Bertens were stunned by unseeded duo Nao Hibino and Oksana Kalashnikova, falling 7-6(3), 6-4.