Katerina Siniakova battled for five hours and 22 minutes across two Fed Cup singles matches in Prague this weekend, including a three-hour, 44-minute clincher against Sofia Kenin in which she saved match points, to clinch victory over the defending-champion U.S. team and claim a sixth title for the Czech Republic in the last eight years.
Nominated as the Czechs’ No. 1 singles player, she more than made up for the absence of stalwarts Petra Kvitova (illness) and Karolina Pliskova (calf and wrist injuries). After Barbora Strycova put the now-11-time champs on the board with a three-set victory against Kenin in the tie’s opener, Siniakova handled the rest, defeating Alison Riske in straights before clinching the trophy with a 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 win over Kenin on Sunday.
Here’s more on the Czech hero.
The Katerina Siniakova File
Birthplace: Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Current Rank: 31 (Singles), 1 (Doubles)
Career-High Rank: 31 (Singles), 1 (Doubles)
Best US Open Finish: Round 3 (Singles, 2018), Final (Doubles, 2017)
- The epic between Siniakova and Kenin featured a 30-shot rally and a 27-point, 19-minute game midway through the final set, with the overall match clocking in 16 minutes shy of the four-hour record for longest-ever Fed Cup match. Against the Fed Cup rookie, Siniakova converted nine of 18 break points and saved a pair of match points on the Kenin serve at 4-5.
- In the Oct. 22 edition of the WTA rankings, Siniakova reached a new career-high in both singles and doubles and claimed the world No. 1 doubles ranking for the first time along with her partner and countrywoman Barbora Krejcikova. The Czech duo, who won both the French Open and Wimbledon crowns, was also voted the 2018 WTA Doubles Team of the Year.
- Siniakova has won two WTA singles titles to date, both coming in 2017. She defeated Riske in the Shenzen Open final to claim her first title and later knocked off the top three seeds in succession to win the Swedish Open, capping her run with a straight-sets final victory over Carolina Wozniacki. In 2018, she again reached the Shenzen Open final in January, this time falling to world No. 1 Simona Halep.
- As a junior, in 2013, Siniakova was ranked as high as No. 2 in the ITF World Junior Rankings. She reached the singles final at the 2012 Orange Bowl and the 2013 Australian Open (losing to Ana Konjuh both times), and won the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles in 2013 with Krejcikova.
They Said It!
“It was so tough. We both played amazing tennis, and there were so many ups and downs. I was still trying to fight because I felt like I was playing great and I was losing! In the end, I was so happy that I could fight back. For me it means a lot.” – Siniakova said after clinching the Fed Cup title for the Czech Republic.