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Czechs take doubles crown; Black into girls' final

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova beat Belinda Bencic and Sara Sorribes Tormo in the junior girls' doubles on Day 13 of the 2013 US Open.
By Benjamin Snyder
Saturday, September 7, 2013

Girls' Doubles Final

The defending French Open and Wimbledon girls' doubles champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova added another Grand Slam title to their collection on Sunday, defeating the No. 3 team of Belinda Bencic and Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-3, 6-4, for their first US Open title. During the match, which finished a little over an hour, Krejcikova and Siniakova proved to be the more consistent and aggressive attackers throughout the straight-sets affair.

The first set started level and on serve with both teams jockeying to get ahead on the scoreboard. It would be Bencic to blink first, netting a deciding point at 40-all to donate the 5-3 lead to the squad from the Czech Republic. They then successully closed out the set in dominating fashion.

In the second set, it appeared to be more of the same for Krejcikova and Siniakova. They raced to a 5-2 lead and looked poised to comfortably finish the match. But, again, Bencic swayed the course of the final, proving her world No.1 ranking. Fired up and playing attacking tennis, especially at net, Bencic and Sorribes Tormo clinched a string of three games to get to 4-5. With a break point at 30-40, it seemed like the set could go the distance.

Krejcikova and Siniakova, however, denied their opponents that opportunity. On a deciding point for the championship, and on their first match point, the players from the Czech Republic were too strong. They collected the title without dropping a set.

Girls' Singles Semifinals

For the third straight year, a girl representing the United States will play for the girls' single title at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Wild card Tornado Alicia Black, 15, became the latest in the line of American talent to earn the honor, eliminating No. 7 seed Antonia Lottner of Germany, 7-5, 6-2. Black, who scored an upset over the No. 4 seed Barbora Krejcikova earlier in the tournament, next faces No. 2 Ana Konjuh of Croatia in the championship match on Sunday.

With a combination of counterpunching tennis and the ability to absorb Lottner’s power, Black clinched the win on her third match point in just under two hours. “I’ve been training really hard and I’ve always wanted to be in any kind of Slam final, so it’s really cool for me,” said Black, who hasn’t lost a set throughout the week.

World No.1 Serena Williams also will be representing the United States in a final on Sunday, and Black’s coach Lawrence Caprio said the young American has been watching and feeding off the 31-year old’s wins. “I think that’s something that’s been driving her throughout the week,” said Caprio.

Her mother Gayal Black praised the string of American appearances in the finals in the last few years. With her daughter’s age, she added that there’s no pressure for her in the final. “However she does tomorrow, we’re perfectly happy just to get to the finals,” she said. “It’s a big experience and exciting.”

Caprio said, “Obviously, it’s huge because she can be part of a very few select group of girls. She’s deserves to be there. She’s been working really hard and she wants it really badly.”

Konjuh, meanwhile, defeated the No.11 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan in straight sets to advance to her second Grand Slam singles final. She won 6-3, 6-3 in exactly 90 minutes. The Croat started her 2013 with wins in singles and doubles at the Australian Open.

Looking ahead to her second career meeting against Konjuh -- the Croat won the first -- Black stayed positive. “I think it’ll be a good match tomorrow,” she said. “I’m going to go out there and be ready to battle.” About what she’d do to celebrate should she score another upset and secure the title, Black said, “Maybe[with] some Kit Kat [candy bars] and ice cream.”