LONDON, Great Britain - For the first time in 15 years, the French Open and Wimbledon have the same doubles champions, as Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova claimed their second straight major title at the All-England Club on Saturday.
The No.3 seeds came through a championship match with an all-Czech flavor, defeating No.12 seeds Kveta Peschke and Czech-born American Nicole Melichar, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0.
"When we went on the court, we were expecting it's really tough match, it's a final. I think it doesn't matter if it's first one or second one, it's still the final. You're just fighting to win the title," Siniakova said after the match.
"I think it's not easy. Every match is really tough. In the beginning of the tournament, I wouldn't expected this. Now I'm here, and we have two titles. It feel just amazing."
🏆 Girls’ doubles champions (2013)
🏆 Ladies’ doubles champions (2018)
Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova become the first team ever to win the girls’ and ladies’ doubles at #Wimbledon after beating Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 pic.twitter.com/jz9dmLeHJo
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 14, 2018
"I think it was really tough, especially leading first set, then losing [by a] break in the second very early. We were just fighting to come back. At 4-5, they were serving really well, then I lost the serve," Krejcikova assessed.
"I think it was really good that we broke them, especially in the first game [of the third]. We just continued. We tried to play our game and tried to just be aggressive and play and go for every point. Somehow we broke them again, then again. We were serving really good. We won the match."
Krejcikova and Siniakova are the first pairing to complete the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double since Kim Clijsters and Ai Sugiyama won both titles in 2003, and their victory on the English lawns is also poignant for a personal reason.
The Czech raise the trophy at Wimbledon exactly 20 years after Hall of Famer Jana Novotna swept through the titles at the All-England Club, winning both her lone singles Grand Slam and her fourth Wimbledon among 12 Grand Slam doubles titles. Novotna, a former coach of Krejcikova, passed away in November after a battle with cancer.
"I would like to dedicate it to her again. She really deserves [us] to think about her - in really good spirit, in really good way. I think it's really good that it was mentioned here, that she won title here 20 years ago. It was her biggest title. She really wanted to win it, as I know from the stories she told me," Krejcikova said.
"All those emotions she was going through, like, during her career to win the Grand Slam. I mean, right here, right now, like 20 years after her winning Grand Slam. Doubles, but still it's perfect. I'm really happy that I could meet her, that she won the title back in 1998. I'm really, really proud. I think she would be really proud, too."
In addition, the two 22-year-olds - who won the girls' doubles title together in 2013 - are the youngest Wimbledon doubles champions since a 21-year-old Vania King triumphed in 2010 alongside Yaroslava Shvedova.
They are the the fifth and sixth women from their country to capture the Wimbledon doubles title, a vaunted list which includes 2011 champion Peschke. The 43-year-old veteran was competing in her third career Grand Slam final, while 24-year-old Melichar was in her first.