Krejcikova and Siniakova Shine
Change is something of a constant in tour-level doubles, with players often seeking out new partners when momentum stalls. Often, it’s the teams that stick together that raise the bar for others and right now on the WTA, that spot belongs to Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who added to their growing legacy in 2021.
The Czech duo started the year with a successful Australian swing, which included a final-round showing in Melbourne. After picking up their second title of the year on clay in Madrid, Krejcikova and Siniakova broke their major drought at Roland Garros, where they only dropped one set. Their dream summer continued at the Tokyo Olympics, where they stood atop the podium with a gold medal.
Seeking a Major Breakthrough in ‘22
If there’s a team that perfectly embodies the combination of youth and experience, it’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara: Right around the time the California-born Shibahara was winning the US Open girls’ doubles title in 2016, Aoyama was capturing her sixth career title on the pro tour.
Partners since 2019, the Japanese pair has been nothing short of prolific. They started 2021 on a 12-match winning streak; after it ended, they won the biggest tournament of their respective careers in Miami. Going into ‘22, the priority will be to make a title-winning run at a Grand Slam. Aoyama and Shibahara have reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne and Paris, and their first semifinal together last year at Wimbledon. Getting past that last hurdle would truly rank them among the best pairs of their generation.