Krejcikova: It's up to Siniakova if we reunite for Olympics - I'd love to play with her

Czech pair dominated doubles circuit, winning seven Grand Slam titles, but announced their shock split last November

Barbora Krejcikova reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, both in singles and doubles, before coming to Abu Dhabi. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Barbora Krejcikova said it will be up to former doubles partner Katerina Siniakova to decide if the pair reunite to defend their gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer.

Czech pair Krejcikova and Siniakova enjoyed remarkable success together, winning seven Grand Slam doubles titles, one WTA Finals title, and Olympic gold in Tokyo.

However, it was announced in November that the pair would split for the 2024 season. No specific reasons were made public for the ending of the most successful women’s doubles team of a generation.

Speaking exclusively to The National on Monday ahead of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, Krejcikova revealed that it was Siniakova who decided to end their partnership, and the former French Open singles champion said she would “love” to reunite with her compatriot for the Olympics.

“Last year when we were splitting and she told me she wanted to go in a different direction, we brought up this topic [of competing at the Olympics],” Krejcikova, 28, said. “This decision [to split] was Katerina’s, not really mine – I would love to play with her and I would love to compete at the Olympics with her.

“So, it’s more on her to actually approach me and to talk to me about it, to see how she feels. I’m very open to reuniting and playing the Olympics together, but it’s more on her right now.”

Tennis at the Olympics allows for each nation to provide up to four players for the singles events, two teams per doubles event, and one team for the mixed doubles. At present, world No 12 Krejcikova is the third-highest ranked Czech on the WTA Tour for singles and at No 24, the second-highest ranked in the doubles, two places behind former partner Siniakova.

Should she be at the Paris Games, Krejcikova will be one of the favourites to medal in all or any of the events she participates in. The tennis tournament will be played at Roland Garros – the venue of the French Open, where Krejcikova has won three major titles.

“I would love to qualify, I would love to be part of the team,” Krejcikova said. “I would love to play singles and doubles, and if I have the opportunity I would love to play mixed [doubles]. But on the other hand, the Czech Republic is a very strong nation, especially in women’s tennis. It’s still a long way to go but definitely I want to do everything to qualify and be competing at the Olympics.”

Indeed, there is still plenty of time to worry about the Paris Games. For now, the focus for the Czech is on the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open where, as the fourth seed, she has received a bye into the second round.

Krejcikova knows all too well what it takes to succeed in the UAE having won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last season, a triumph made all the more impressive by beating in-form world No 1 Iga Swiatek in straight sets in the final.

“There are some differences [between Dubai and Abu Dhabi tournaments] – the court, the balls, other slight differences – but I just like to be here and to play here,” said Krejcikova, who reached the Australian Open quarter-finals last month. “The conditions can suit me, and I’ve had a good start to the season and hopefully I can do well here too.”

Updated: February 05, 2024, 4:28 PM