Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova rally to secure their first doubles championship at the US Open

NEW YORK – The only thing that could stop Barbara Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova at Grand Slam tournaments this year was COVID-19.

The Czechs won their third Major in 2022 and ended a career grand slam on Sunday by rallying late to beat Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the US Open doubles final.

Krejcikova and Siniakova started the year by winning the Australian Open for the first time, but failed to defend their 2021 French Open title after Krejcikova tested positive for COVID-19 and retired after losing their opening singles match.

They then won Wimbledon for the second time and now have six major titles.

“I think it’s a very special feeling that we’re part of the story right now,” Krejcikova said. “But I mean, on the other hand, it’s such an amazing achievement but the career is still going on and we want to add something else. We always want to improve and keep getting better.”

The Americans played together in a major for the first time after Townsend returned this year following the birth of their son in March 2021. They couldn’t match the experience of the Czechs, who started playing together as juniors.

“We didn’t play that many tournaments this year. It’s so exciting that we did so well at Grand Slams,” Siniakova said. “I would just say we’re trying to improve each other and it’s working.”

Third in Flushing Meadows, they didn’t look like they would win after McNally and Townsend built a 4-1 lead in the second set. The Americans fell 5-4, but the Czechs won 12 of the last 15 points to win the set and then rolled 4-0 up in the third.

“When we won the second set, I felt like we became a better team from there,” said Krejcikova. “I’m really, really happy that we won that last slam that we missed.”

Though disappointed by the loss, Townsend said it gave her confidence for the next year after returning to such important games so soon.

“I’m just super motivated to keep going and show my son that we were so close,” Townsend said. “You know when you look back you’re so close. It didn’t happen this time, but that doesn’t mean you stop.”

It was the second straight US Open final loss for McNally, who he worked with last year Coco Gauff.

Siniakova will replace Gauff – the one with a partner Jessica Pegula lost in the first round at Flushing Meadows as the No. 2 seed – at the top of the WTA doubles rankings. Krejcikova will climb to 2nd place and McNally will jump back into the top 10 from 22nd place.

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