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Kichenok and Ostapenko Battle Back to Reach First Grand Slam Final

Kichenok and Ostapenko – In a compelling semifinal encounter at the Australian Open on Friday, Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Kichenok and Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko demonstrated resilience by securing consecutive sets in a remarkable comeback, thus advancing to their inaugural Grand Slam women’s doubles final. The duo, seeded 11th, triumphed over the 4th-seeded and current US Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe in a closely contested match, concluding with scores of 7-5, 7-5 over a duration of 1 hour and 35 minutes at the Margaret Court Arena, a result that certainly impacted WTA betting picks.

Recent Near-Misses for the First-Time Finalists

Although Kichenok and Ostapenko have individually clinched Grand Slam titles previously — Ostapenko having won the 2017 French Open singles title and Kichenok the Wimbledon mixed doubles championship last year — this event marked their first foray into a Grand Slam women’s doubles final. Notably, the pair had narrowly missed reaching the final round in two instances the preceding year, being defeated in the semifinals at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

However, their persistent efforts bore fruit in Melbourne, where, despite facing deficits in both sets against the experienced US Open champions Dabrowski and Routliffe, Kichenok and Ostapenko ultimately achieved their long-awaited breakthrough to a Grand Slam final.

Mirror-Image Sets Underscore the Dramatic Comebacks

In a contest characterized by remarkably similar scorelines in both sets, the 11th-seeded duo of Kichenok and Ostapenko consistently demonstrated resilience under pressure. Despite Dabrowski serving for the set at 5-3 in each instance, Kichenok and Ostapenko managed to break serve on both occasions, subsequently securing the final three games of each set without conceding a single game.

“It was a bit up-and-down today, we were just trying to keep fighting,” Kichenok told the Melbourne crowd after the semifinal comeback. “It wasn’t going the way we wanted today the whole time, but we managed somehow.”

Kichenok and Ostapenko: Fighting Spirit Shines Through in Pressure Moments

The unwavering tenacity of the Ukrainians was evident in their strategic play during critical moments, particularly when confronting break points or trailing in games. In a challenging juncture at 5-3 down in the second set, Ostapenko displayed commendable fortitude by executing consecutive lob winners to maintain her serve, subsequently breaking Routliffe to love with another timely lob winner.

While serving for the match at 6-5, Kichenok exhibited remarkable resilience by fending off a final break point, ultimately securing the win in a tense and dramatic conclusion. In moments of high pressure, Kichenok and Ostapenko responded with equal determination and skill.

“We were just trying to keep fighting,” Ostapenko said afterwards. That determination fueled their comeback all the way into their first doubles Grand Slam final.

Final Showdown vs. Seasoned Doubles Stars

The recent triumph has set the stage for an impending championship clash featuring Kichenok and Ostapenko, as well as the highly regarded doubles pairing of Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens, who hold the distinction of being the second-seeded team. It is worth noting that Mertens has previously claimed the Australian Open title in 2021, partnering with Aryna Sabalenka. Additionally, the esteemed 37-year-old Hsieh has earned acclaim within the doubles tennis domain, as she emerged victorious in the mixed doubles category at this year’s Melbourne tournament, alongside her partner Jan Zielinski.

Nevertheless, Ostapenko and Kichenok, who are experiencing their inaugural Grand Slam final, have embraced their roles as protagonists of remarkable comebacks throughout this tournament. They are determined to present a formidable challenge. Judging by their performance at the Australian Open thus far, their audacious and spirited style of play positions them as credible contenders, potentially orchestrating another surprising triumph to claim the championship.

“Anything can happen in doubles,” said Kichenok about the final matchup. “We will just focus on our game and enjoy the moment, because it’s our first Grand Slam final.”

Should the pair maintain their assertive approach and persistently contend for each point, mirroring their remarkable performance in the tense semifinal, it is conceivable that the resurgent duo may yet unveil a touch of Grand Slam brilliance during their campaign in Melbourne. Their unwavering determination imbues them with confidence as they approach the impending championship match this weekend. Top betting websites have taken cognizance of their captivating journey to the finals.