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B. Krejcikova (CZE)
A. Sharma (AUS)
|B. Krejcikova (CZE) (3)||7(7)||6|
|A. Sharma (AUS)||6(3)||1|
|Set won by B. Krejcikova||6 - 1||B. Krejcikova leads 2 to 0|
|Set won by B. Krejcikova||7(7) - 6(3)||B. Krejcikova leads 1 to 0|
Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram defeated the challenging Australian dup of John-Patrick Smith and Astra Sharma in straight sets.
The all-Australian combination of John-Patrick Smith and Astra Sharma will look to bring more success to the home nation at the Australian Open when they take on Rajeev Ram and Barbora Krejcikova in the mixed doubles final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from around 9:30pm (AEDT).
It’s a shock appearance in the final for Smith and Sharma, who came into the tournament with a wildcard, given to them by tennis Australia.
Following Samantha Stosur’s women’s doubles victory alongside Shuai Zhang yesterday, the Australian combination will be out for more success, but like Stosur and Zhang yesterday, go into this match as absolute outsiders against the third-seeded team.
Sharma really only burst onto the singles circuit this year, qualifying for the Australian Open and then getting a shock victory in the first round over countrywoman Priscilla Hon.
Smith, on the other hand, didn’t actually make the singles draw at the Australian Open this year, with the world No.202, now 30 years of age, something of a journeyman.
Despite that, Smith and Sharma beat the strong team of Bethanie Mattek-Sans and Jamie Murray in the quarter-final and then knocked out second seed Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar in straight sets during the semi-final, so their form is outstanding.
The third-seed team of Krejcikova and Ram are doubles players through and through. In the women’s game, Krejcikova is the top-ranked player, and by a considerable distance, while in the men’s game, Ram is ranked 21, but has been playing at grand slams since 2001.
Their untold experience should count for something, especially in the case of Krejcikova, who won both the French Open and Wimbledon last year.
They have excellent play to go with a strong team combination which has developed strongly over the last fortnight, and while they haven’t had a tough draw like Sharma and Smith, you’d expect their quality to be no less in the final.
It’s hard to see the Australian combination getting up here, but they have had some surprise victories throughout the tournament to make it this far, so there is no question they will fight, scrap and have some moments.
Still, the difference in class here should be too great.
Ram and Krejcikova in straight sets.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this mixed doubles final at the 2019 Australian Open from around 9:30pm (AEDT) or at the completion of Naomi Osaka versus Petra Kvitova in the women’s singles final on Rod Laver Arena and don’t forget to drop a comment in the section below.
Start time: Around 9:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
TV: Live, Channel 9
Online: Live, 9Now