SINGAPORE - Top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova were first into the championship match at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global on Saturday, knocking out defending champion Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and partner Barbora Strycova, 6-3, 6-2.
Making their WTA Finals debut, Krejcikova and Siniakova secured the WTA Year-End No.1 ranking with a comprehensive performance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, advancing after one hour and 12 minutes.
"It’s big news," Krejcikova said during the on-court interview. "It was a really good atmosphere today; thanks to everyone for their support."
The Czechs were victorious at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon this season, and were the first in either singles or doubles to qualify for Singapore. Sestini Hlavackova and Strycova paired up for the first time in over a decade at the Miami Open and came into Singapore on a hot streak, winning the China Open just before the WTA Finals.
"It’s amazing," Siniakova added. "We are such a small country, and so many players are here. I’m so happy I can represent this country. It’s really tough to play girls from the same country, but it’s amazing."
Krejcikova and Siniakova were ultimately undeterred, navigating out of a 0-30 deficit in the seventh game of the opening set and rode that momentum out to a set and break advantage.
"My serve!" Siniakova said when asked about their keys to victory. "In the first match it wasn’t so good, but today it was much better, so I’m happy with that. We both played really well today, and hopefully we’ll keep it up tomorrow, show our best, and fight for every point."
Sestini Hlavackova and Strycova stayed in contention where they could, calling the latter’s coach David Kotyza to court in the second set, but Krejcikova and Siniakova proved too strong, breaking serve once more and serving the match out to love.
In all, they struck 26 winners to just 14 unforced errors and didn't face a break point throughout the two set encounter, converting three of six break points of their own.
Awaiting the WTA World Co-No.1s will be the winner of a US Open final rematch between No.2 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, and Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe.
"We’re going to watch the match, see who wins, and tomorrow will be a new day," Krejcikova said after the match. "We will try to do our best, and try to lift the trophy."