Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hlavackova and Hradecka win U.S. Open doubles championship

Lucie Hradecka had a lot of work to do tonight in the U.S. Open doubles final. Not only did she have to fight off the Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, she also had to soothe the nerves of her suddenly cranky partner, Andrea Hlavackova.

Hlavackova, high on having won the mixed doubles title, was as loose as she could be when the Czech pair defeated the Williams sisters in the semifinals. But her mood changed the moment she walked onto the court to play the final. Literally, the moment. Hlavackova wasn't pleased about the choice of chair umpire and complained about it. Once the match got going, she just couldn't settle down, and the Australians took the first set in a tiebreak.

Having lost the first set, Hlavackova visibly came out of her funk and took the pressure off of Hradecka. It took the Czechs just 30 minutes to romp through the second set and win it 6-1. During those 30 minutes, they hit 11 winners and made just one unforced error.

Not surprisingly, Barty and Dellacqua put up a much bigger fight in the final set, breaking the Czechs early. But Hlavackova and Hradecka broke back, and broke again, then served for the match in style, winning the third set 6-4.

In 2011, Hlavackova and Hradecka won the French Open. Last year, they were the runners-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and they won silver at the Olympic Games. Their opponents know what that feels like: Barty and Dellacqua have now won the runner-up trophies at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2013.

It's been a good year for the Czechs. Not only did Hlavackova and Hradecka win the title today, with Hlavackova also winning mixed (with Max Mirnyi), but also, two Czech girls won the junior doubles title (they also won titles at the French Open and Wimbledon). And Hradecka won the mixed doubles title at the French Open.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to the Czech team. Would have love it if the Aussie team could have pulled this one out.

Diane said...

Three in a row has to be tough. At least the Czechs had a major title when they went runner-up three times in a row. (Watching the Czech team play doubles makes me miss Benesova.)

Eric said...

so did they actually change chair umps?

Diane said...

No, the umpire (can't even recall who it was) stayed in her chair. Andrea just went all Jankovic, and credit to Lucie for staying calm and positive. Once Andrea shook the nerves, she was fine.

Eric said...

Interesting... I dont think I'ver ever seen a player ask for another umpire before. I wasn't sure what the protocol was. Also...I haven't seen Eva Askeraki all tournament. Wonder where she is.

Lucie has amazing weapons but she also is an awesome net player. Part of the reason that Hlavackova had excellent serving stats against the Williamses, despite being then weakest server of the four, was because Lucie protected her serve *very* well. She seems like a nice person too. I saw her play at Cincy in 2012.

Excited for the women's final?

Diane said...

Asderaki is there.

Yeah, Im expecting a good final--i.e., expecting Vika to stop fooling around and make it a contest.