Ukrainian tennis player Lyudmyla Kichenok and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko advanced on Jan. 26 to the Australian Open doubles final, defeating reigning U.S. Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe.
Kichenok and Ostapenko won two consecutive come-from-behind sets 7-5, 7-5, booking a spot in a championship match.
The two players had previously lost in the Grand Slam doubles semifinals, being knocked out at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2022. The doubles final in Melbourne will be the first one for the duo.
Both Kichenok and Ostapenko had won Grand Slam trophies in other disciplines. Ostapenko is a Roland Garros 2017 champion in singles, and Kichenok won the mixed doubles title with Mate Pavic at Wimbledon last year.
Kichenok is the third Ukrainian female tennis player to reach the Grand Slam doubles final. In 2008, Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko won a title at the Australian Open, and in 1999, Elena Tatarkova, in a pair with Mariaan de Swardt of South Africa, lost in two sets at the Wimbledon final.
Ukrainian tennis players set a national record at the Australian Open 2024 as Dayana Yastremska and Marta Kostyuk earned their spots in the quarterfinals. For the first time, two Ukrainian players played in singles at this stage of the Grand Slam.
Later, Yastremska reached the semifinal in Melbourne and became the first Ukraine to achieve it.