Indian Wells | Czechs win 15th doubles title together

No 1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova were pushed to the wire before outlasting the first-time pairing of Beatriz Haddad Maia & Laura Siegemund to capture the BNP Paribas Open doubles title, 6-1 6-7(3) [10-7] on Saturday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in the California desert.

Well, I think it's a great feeling. It's definitely a huge tournament. I mean, it's called a fifth slam, so it's definitely one of the tournaments that you want to win. I'm really happy that we were able to do it, because couple years ago we were in a finals, and it didn't work out back then. But now it did! Barbora Krejcikova

The Czech pair have won 7 Grand Slam titles together, and completed a career Golden Grand Slam by taking all 4 major titles, an Olympic gold medal, and the year-end WTA Championship doubles crown.

Krejcikova, also a former French Open singles champion, thanked her skilled but often highly-strung long-time partner Siniakova on winning their 15th career WTA doubles title as a team, saying, “Thank you for playing with me for such a long and very successful period.

“I’m really happy that I play with you – it’s always very stressful for me, but I enjoy it,” Krejcikova added with a laugh.

She also praised Haddad Maia & Seigemund for competing so well on their debut as a team.

“For the first time playing together, and getting this far, I think it’s a really amazing achievement,” she said. “I hope you’re gonna play together a bit more, and we will have some big finals and nice matches.”

It took Krejcikova & Siniakova just under 2 hours to add the Indian Wells title to their growing list of credits, their first at the WTA 1000 tournament after having previously ended as runners-up to Elise Mertens & Aryna Sabalenka in 2019.

“It’s very nice to win another title,” Krejcikova said, in the champions’ press conference. “I think the whole tournament was very difficult.

“I felt that we played many tight matches, especially at the beginning. I’m really happy with the way how the match today turned out at the end.”

Siniakova added: ”Super-tiebreak, it’s really quick, so you kind of need to be ready from the beginning.

“There is a lot of emotions and a lot of thoughts, but you just need to pick every ball and you just keep fighting. I think that’s what’s helping us.”


Beatriz Haddad Maia (R) & Laura Siegemund rebounded in the second set but fell away to eventual champions Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova

© Julian Finney/Getty Images

They had to work hard to win their title, as, after blazing through the first set, which Krejcikova & Siniakova took without facing a break point, very little separated the world’s top team from Haddad Maia & Siegemund, who had paired up for the first time this fortnight.

The Brazilian-German tandem sprung to life and put constant pressure on the Czechs in the second, pushing hard in several close games and almost pulling off a pivotal break for 4-3, but the door was quickly slammed shut by Krejcikova & Siniakova, who also had to fend off 3 straight set points at 5-4.

Two games later, the Czechs grabbed their first 2 championship points after a stirring rally ended with a sturdy Siniakova volley, but Haddad Maia & Siegemund forced errors from the top seeds, and battled their way into the tiebreak where the Brazilian’s power game and the German’s deft net play helped the unseeded pair level proceedings after over an hour of second-set action.

In the decisive match tiebreak, Krejcikova slammed a forehand winner down the middle to give her team an 8-5 advantage, and they garnered 3 more championship points after Haddad Maia missed a forehand wide for 9-6.

The Czechs prevailed on their 4th championship point, taking the hard-fought victory with a Krejcikova backhand return winner after an hour and 57 minutes on court.

“Well, I think it’s a great feeling,” Krejcikova said in the post-match press conference. “It’s definitely a huge tournament. I mean, it’s called a fifth slam, so it’s definitely one of the tournaments that you want to win.

“I’m really happy that we were able to do it, because couple years ago we were in a finals, and it didn’t work out back then. But now it did!”


Katerina Siniakova (L) & Barbora Krejcikova with WTA Legend Ambassador Martina Navratilova at the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara

© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Krejcikova went on to express her admiration and appreciation for Czech-American tennis legend Martina Navratilova and wished her a speedy recovery following her cancer diagnosis.

On 3 January, Navratilova shared the news of her second bout with cancer, which included the ‘double whammy’ of breast and throat cancer.

“I definitely knew who Martina was, and how successful she was, when I was actually playing, when I was a junior, so for me, having the opportunity to meet her and to actually become a friend is a really big thing for me.”

The 2021 French Open champion credited Navratilova for playing a significant role in her development as a player, especially following the death of Jana Novotna, her mentor.

“I really like her, and she also is trying to help me with the development of my tennis,” Krejcikova added. “So I can say that for me, yeah, she is a really big, like, guiding light right now, after not having Jana here anymore.

“Yeah, I mean, obviously the situation that is happening, it’s not good, and, I mean, I wish her all the best. I wish her, you know, to become healthy again and to be, you know, back again at the tournament, because I think she really loves it.

“I mean, we are so happy to have her here around, and to be able to talk to her.”


Katerina Siniakova & Barbora Krejcikova have won 15 doubles titles together on the WTA Tour

Jimmie48/WTAtennis.com

Krejcikova and Siniakova remain undefeated in 2023 at 11-0, and are now 11-0 as a duo this season, having successfully defended their Australian Open title to notch their 7th Grand Slam women’s doubles title as a pair in their only previous appearance this season playing together.

Overall, Siniakova has won 22 WTA doubles titles in her career, while this marks Krejcikova’s 16th doubles title on tour.

Siniakova is currently enjoying her 68th week as the WTA Doubles World No 1, while Doubles World No 2 Krejcikova has also been ranked World No 1 in doubles for 19 weeks in her career, 12 of those concurrently with Siniakova.


Barbora Krejcikova (L) & Katerina Siniakova celebrate with the BNP PARIBAS OPEN doubles trophy

BNP Paribas Open/Twitter

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