Czech Republic win women's tennis doubles final to upset Switzerland's Belinda Bencic's dream of winning singles and doubles at Tokyo 2020
The Czech Republic’s top seeded women’s doubles tennis players have upset Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic’s hopes of winning both a singles and doubles gold medal at Tokyo 2020.
Barbora Krejcikova, 25, and Katerina Siniakova, 25, overpowered Bencic, 24, and her 28-year-old partner Viktorija Golubic 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the women’s tennis doubles at Ariake Tennis Centre. It was the Czech Republic's first Olympic gold in the event: the country won silver in 1988, 1996 and 2012.
The Swiss pair had looked confident going into the match. Just a day earlier Bencic had made history as the first Swiss woman to win an Olympic tennis gold medal when she beat the Czech team’s compatriot Marketa Vondrousova, 22, in the singles final. Had she won the doubles match she would have become only the fifth member of an elite group of tennis players to win a singles and a doubles gold medal at one Olympic Games since the sport returned in 1988.
But the Czech pair, who are three-time Grand Slam champions, had other plans. In the women’s doubles final the first set was an even affair, with both sides holding serve, until Krejcikova and Siniakova pulled away to seal the first set 7-5.
By the second set they had taken control and were up 3-0 before the Swiss pair broke their serve. But after a series of errors, Bencic and Golubic were soon down 5-1 and facing a mountain to climb to win the match. They clung on in the last game and battled back when it went to deuce several times, but they failed to convert their advantages and lost the match 7-5, 6-1 to take home silver.
Despite losing the match, Bencic said she was delighted to take home gold and also win silver with her teammate Golubic. “The week here was incredibly beautiful," she said. "Winning something like this and then being a finalist in the doubles, it’s like a dream come true. We are overjoyed. We will fly back on Monday with other medallists. It’s a great feeling to know people are waiting and they acknowledge the medals we won for our country."
Brazil’s Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani claimed bronze after beating Russian Olympic Committee’s Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina in the women's doubles tennis match.