Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico.
It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February.
“After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site. “In doubles, you have a small court and it’s tough to get into the rhythm, but I felt like we started off [well] right away from the first match. I felt we were playing better and better.”
The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record this season, the only blemish a 6-2, 6-1 defeat to Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the final of the Australian Open.
“[The record] is incredible, but for me, more incredible is that we are so consistent in our performances, which is really important,” Strycova said. “The winning is a huge plus, but we’re working on it every single day, with Su-wei, on court, to get better, and it’s paying off.”
“It’s amazing to see Barbora again, we’ve played together since last year, and we did a really great job at a lot of tournaments,” Hsieh told the WTA Web site. “I feel stable, safe. When Barbora is on court, I’m safe.”
The top seeds saved one of two break points and converted five of seven, winning 82 percent of points on their first serve to add to their titles in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha.
“Today, the key was to play our game,” Strycova said. “It’s always a key to play our game, and then if it’s not working, we have to come out with a plan B. Today, it was working right from the beginning. I thought I was returning very well and Su-Wei was reacting at the net, as always, very well.”
The Wimbledon champions next have the chance to claim a second Grand Slam title at the French Open, which begins in Paris on Sunday.
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