Huge friends Hozumi and Ninomiya made history by becoming the first all-Japanese pairing to reach any Grand Slam final. Having never played together at a Grand Slam before, they knocked out four seeded teams en route to the final without dropping a set, including the top-ranked duo Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.
But Siniakova and Krejcikova also go back a long way, having captured the junior title here in 2013, along with Wimbledon and the US Open also that year. The ultimate showdown was to prove a hurdle too far for the Japanese.
In the fine tradition of their nation’s doubles heritage, Siniakova and Krejcikova became the first all-Czech pairing to win the title here since Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in 2011.
The Japanese pair got off to a dream start. On Krejcikova’s serve Ninomiya sent a stunning backhand return down the line to bring up an immediate opportunity to break; and then there she was again at the net, responding like lightning to a Siniakova volley to dispatch the winner. It was Ninomiya whose hustle proved crucial in the Japanese’ semi-final victory, belying her 1.57m stature to chase down whatever Chan Hao-Ching and Yang Zhaoxuan could throw at them.