Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova on Friday claimed their third doubles title of the season at the Qatar Open, a victory that is to see the Taiwanese reclaim the world No. 1 spot when the new rankings are released tomorrow.
The top seeds battled to a 6-2, 5-7, 10-2 victory over sixth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in 1 hour, 30 minutes at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
The Taiwanese-Czech pairing saved 11 of 15 break points and converted five of 13, winning 71 percent of their points on second return to complete a rare Middle East sweep, becoming only the second partnership to win in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Doha since Americans Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber in 2012.
“It’s not easy to always travel from Dubai, then here. You know, we play also singles, so it’s a lot of matches, but also it’s tough mentally and physically,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
“We got together and it’s great,” Strycova added. “I mean, we are the second team [to do this], so it’s really unbelievable. We should be proud of us.”
The victory is to see Hsieh supplant Kristina Mladenovic at the top of the WTA world doubles rankings tomorrow.
“I kept telling her [Strycova]: ‘Just relax this tournament,’ and then we won the first tournament in Dubai, and then this tournament I say: ‘Oh, just relax again,’ and then she helped the team to win the title,” Hsieh told the WTA Web site.
“Barbora helps a lot, too, because I was not thinking about No. 1 at the Australian Open or here, but once I get to No. 1, I was like: ‘Oh, I’m back to No. 1, so thank you,’” Hsieh added.
The champions at the Brisbane International in Australia in January had to weather a fightback by Dabrowski and Ostapenko in the second set, but went on to claim the first six points of the super tiebreak and never looked back.
“In the tiebreak, I think we got together everything and we were playing really good tennis. I have to say, very aggressive, very doubles,” Strycova said.
“So I am very happy, not just about today, but about these two weeks,” Strycova added. “We had really amazing two weeks, winning so many matches, winning so many battles, and it showed us also I think that we are very strong mentally.”
The Taiwanese-Czech duo have a 17-1 record this season. The lone defeat came in the Australian Open final against Timea Babos and Mladenovic.
“It feels unreal, kind of. I always say to myself that it’s awesome, it’s really great, it’s a great effort what we are doing on the court, but we have to also appreciate it as well and not to take it like it’s like normal, or whatever,” Strycova said.
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