MASON, Ohio -- Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko captured their biggest team title at the Western & Southern Open, defeating Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez 7-6(5), 6-3 in the final. With their second title of the season, Kichenok and Ostapenko surged up the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard to sit at No.2.
The duo joined the WTA Insider Podcast after the win to talk about the keys to their winning week, the secrets of their successful partnership, and the new addition to Team Ostapenko, her new puppy Balenciaga.
Kichenok & Ostapenko capture Cincinnati doubles title
WTA Insider: It was a tough draw for you to get through. What was the key?
Ostapenko: I never get easy draws, to be honest (laughing). It reminds me of the Dubai singles title. We're just trying to play every match and fight and we always expect from our opponents that they're going to play a good match. So we try to be ready for every single match. A couple of matches were really tough but we were fighting and I think that's the way. It paid off.
WTA Insider: You've both played so well all year. What makes you such a formidable team?
Kichenok: It's a secret! Jelena is a very good singles player ...
Ostapenko: Doubles also (laughs).
Kichenok: I just feel great support playing with her. I know in key moments she can play her best tennis and that gives me extra confidence as well. That's the key.
Swift hustle from Ostapenko 💨@JelenaOstapenk8 | @LKichenok | #CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/gKm8ZVq8rX— wta (@WTA) August 21, 2022
Ostapenko: We're really good friends off the court and I think that chemistry and connection helps us in tough moments. We always spend good times off the court and on the court we feel more good with each other and relaxed in a good way. I think that helps us in the key moments.
WTA Insider: What do you do off the court that makes you such good friends?
Ostapenko: We can always do something together, chat, talk, go for dinner. If either of us needs a talk we always can talk to each other.
Kichenok: We give good advice to each other.
WTA Insider: Jelena, it's your first title with Balenciaga.
Ostapenko: She's such an amazing dog and she's so calm. She's been behaving unbelievable all week. I'm really lucky to have such an amazing dog.
Kichenok: She's so quiet and patient.
Ostapenko: She's my anti-stress after the match.