The medal rounds are set in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic doubles event, where the top-seeded Czech team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova will aim to stop the Swiss duo of Belinda Bencic and Viktorija Golubic in Sunday's gold medal match. Both championship matches in singles and doubles will pit Switzerland against the Czech Republic. Bencic defeated Marketa Vondrousova on Saturday for gold in singles.
On Saturday, the surprise Brazilian duo Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani beat the ROC's Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina for the bronze medal.
The top-seeded Czechs advanced to the gold medal match by defeating Kudermetova and Vesnina 6-3, 3-6, [10-6] in the semifinals. Champions at Roland Garros in June, Krejcikova and Siniakova have won three consecutive super-tiebreaks to advance to the final, upending Spain (Badosa/Sorribes Tormo, 10-5) and Australia (Barty/Sanders, 10-7) before the semifinals.
"Everybody was expecting us to be in the finals, but we had such a tough draw," Krejcikova told the ITF after the semifinals. "So now that we’ve got through, it’s perfect, a dream come true. We are in the finals of the Olympics, and we are representing our country - it’s something special, something very deep. I hope the people back home are going to be proud when we get one medal or the other."
Bencic and Golubic, who are both making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo, advanced to the final by defeating Pigossi and Stefani 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals. The Swiss team paved their way through the draw by stunning the No.2 seeds and home favorites Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in the first round, 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-5 and, like their Czech counterparts, ousted Spain (Muguruza/Suarez Navarro) and Australia (Perez/Stosur).
Sunday's final will also have an edge of revenge to the matchup. Bencic ended Krejcikova's singles run in the quarterfinal stage en route to the final.
"This is the biggest result I have reached so far – and the biggest result in doubles," Bencic said. "To do it both in the same day, it’s for sure the best result. I don’t really want this dream to stop – we were talking about maybe we wake up tomorrow and none of this happened and we’re going to be sad. But it’s reality. We’re super-happy."
History for #SUI @BelindaBencic, who becomes the fifth player to reach both singles and doubles finals since tennis’s return to the #Olympics in 1988:— ITF (@ITFTennis) July 29, 2021
Sydney 2000 - Venus Williams
Athens 2004 - Nicolas Massu
London 2012 - Serena Williams, Andy Murray#Tokyo2020 | #Tennis
Having advanced to both the singles and doubles finals, Bencic is bidding to become the first player to sweep both Olympic events since Serena Williams, who partner with sister Venus at the 2012 London Games. In singles, Bencic is aiming to become the first Swiss player - man or woman - to win Olympic singles gold since Marc Rosset at the 1996 Barcelona games. In doubles, she and Golubic will try to match Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka's gold medal run at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"The Olympics, for me, is the spirit of sport," said Golubic said when asked what it meant to be assured a medal. "Connecting people all over the world, sharing of emotions and freedom, all being connected by sport, this is what it means for me even when I was a small girl.
"This is big – it’s not just tennis or athletics, it’s kind of the meaning of life. This is why to even be here, to be an Olympian is huge, to be honest – obviously everywhere, and in Switzerland, but also for me. Now we are actually medalists, this is amazing."