Defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova continued their exceptional Grand Slam winning streak in women’s doubles by capturing the 2023 Australian Open title in Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
No.1 seeds Krejcikova and Siniakova of the Czech Republic won their second straight title in Melbourne, and their seventh major title as a duo overall, by holding off No.10 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan 6-4, 6-3.
"I'm real excited to have this trophy again," Siniakova said in the champions' press conference. "To look back, what we achieved last few months, it's amazing. I'm really proud and we're playing great. The team spirit is working, because it's tough."
Czech streaks: Krejcikova and Siniakova are up to 24 consecutive match-wins in women’s doubles at Grand Slam events. They have not lost a Grand Slam women’s doubles match since 2021, having won all three of the majors they contested last year (the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open).
The Czechs are also the first team to defend the Australian Open women's doubles title since Italy's Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci went back-to-back in 2013 and 2014.
Krejcikova and Siniakova have won 21 of their past 23 matches at Melbourne Park. Before their title run last year, they made the semifinals in 2020 and were runners-up in 2021.
"I have to say it's a lot of hard work behind it," Krejcikova said. "So many practices. I remember many matches that we got really close. Couple times we were to the semifinals at other Slams, and we weren't just able to get through.
"I'm really happy as part of this tennis generation we are trying to be the best ones. We are quite successful. I'm really happy with that and I'm honored."
Japanese breakthrough: Aoyama and Shibahara, who have won eight Hologic WTA Tour doubles titles together, were each in their first Grand Slam women’s doubles final (Shibahara won a Grand Slam title in mixed doubles at 2022 Roland Garros).
Despite the loss on Sunday, the 10th seeds have improved over the past three years in Melbourne. After a quarterfinal showing in 2021 and a semifinal finish in 2022, this year they became the third and fourth Japanese players to ever reach an Australian Open women's doubles final.
"We're just really happy with the way we've been playing," Shibahara said to the press. "Really, every single match I feel like we are improving. ... It was just so close. I feel like it was just right there. Obviously our opponents were just too good and solid.
"I feel like the experience was just the difference. I know that I think the next time we'll have a better shot at it. Overall I'm just really proud of how we've been playing together, so really excited for what's to come."
Match breakdown: Even after a career-best week at a major, the Japanese duo were the latest team to fall to the currently unstoppable force that is Krejcikova and Siniakova. In 89 minutes, under a closed roof, the Czech pair fired 26 winners to their opponents' 12 and converted four of their six break points.
The Czechs kicked off the match by grabbing the only service break of the first set in the opening game. Krejcikova faced two break points on her serve in the following game, but thanks to her forehand and Siniakova’s volleys, the No.1 seeds held for 2-0, and they were not threatened on serve for the rest of the set.
After falling behind another early break in the second set, Aoyama and Shibahara found solid returns to break Siniakova and pull back level at 2-2. However, a Krejcikova forehand winner gave the Czechs a love break and a 4-3 lead, and they swept to another major championship from there.