Wimbledon and French Open champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova qualify for the WTA Finals

Wimbledon and French Open champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova qualify for the WTA Finals

After an outstanding year, Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova became the first pair to qualify for the prestigious year-end Championships held in Singapore.

don-han
Don Han

The first qualifiers for the final edition of the WTA Finals held in the lion city of Singapore were decided earlier this week as the 2018’s two-time Major champions and youngsters Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova successfully became the first players of either competition (singles and doubles) to book their place in the elite field after an incredible year thus far.

Krejcikova was certainly delighted to be making her first appearance in this tournament, “We are honored to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore this year and be one of the top doubles teams of the year." Siniakova added, “Barbora and I are very excited and we look forward to some great matches this year in Singapore.”

2018 Results: Two Major titles for the Czech pairing

Having only reunited as a pair towards the end of 2017, Krejcikova and Siniakova looked to regain the form which pushed them towards three junior Grand Slam trophies back in 2013. Both 22-year-olds had a decent start to the year; reaching the semifinals of the Shenzhen Open before falling to eventual finalists and top-ranked Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the third round of the Australian Open.

They had an encouraging run to the last four in Doha but a disappointing third-round exit in Indian Wells completely ruined their momentum. Nonetheless, they bounced back in some impressive fashion as they stormed to the final at the Miami Open while defeating the Chan sisters along the way.

The Czech pairing also reached the final in Miami | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America
The Czech pairing also reached the final in Miami | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America

Krejcikova and Siniakova started their clay-court campaign on a sour note — extremely ironic considering what happened in June. They went 1-3 in the three big tournaments they played together but sprung an outstanding run to come out of nowhere and claim their first Major title at Roland Garros.

They defeated the ninth seeds Bertens/Larsson, third seeds Klepac/Martinez Sanchez and second seeds Sestini-Hlavackova/Strycova, who were huge favourites for the title. Incredible three-set wins over Bertens/Larsson and Maria/Watson in the second set allowed them to change their fortunes, ending the tournament with three consecutive straight-setters.

Krejcikova and Siniakova are on a 14-match winning streak at Majors | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe
Krejcikova and Siniakova are on a 14-match winning streak at Majors | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe

They continued their amazing run by reaching the semifinals at the Nature Valley Classic — but it proved to be just the start of another fairytale headline. The Czechs became the first pair of win the ladies’ doubles title at Wimbledon after claiming the juniors’ doubles title together, having stormed past Maria/Watson in a final-set tiebreak in the process.

Their successes allowed them to rise to a new career-high ranking, with Siniakova edging closer than ever to the number one ranking while Krejcikova enters the top-five for the first time in her career. Together, they are the top-ranked doubles pairing in the world and cemented their position by qualifying for the WTA Finals.

Krejcikova and Siniakova are now the top-ranked pairing in the world | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe
Krejcikova and Siniakova are now the top-ranked pairing in the world | Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Europe

Past appearances in Singapore

Siniakova qualified alongside fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka but a knee injury sustained by the veteran kept her out for close to 10 months, keeping her out of action until this year’s French Open. Siniakova and Hradecka were then forced to withdraw from the tournament as a result, but now the youngster will be able to compete in the final edition of this event alongside her good friend Krejcikova.

The final edition of Singapore's five-year contract to hold the WTA Finals will kick start on 21st October, while this year's doubles competition will have a knockout format which immediately starts from the quarterfinals.

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