DOHA, Qatar - The star power wasn't restricted to the singles court on Semifinal Saturday at the Qatar Total Open - four of the best teams in the world put their discipline up for display on the doubles court, too. And in the end it was the Top 2 seeds who battled through to the final of the Premier event.
The first semifinal was a cracker, with No.1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci coming within a game of going out down 61 65 and needing four match points to edge No.6 seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke, 16 76(3) 119. The two teams had a history - Groenefeld and Peschke had beaten them in Brisbane earlier this year, and pushed them to an 18-16 match tie-break in Sydney, as well.
"Every match is tough, but we are a good team together and were able to turn it around and play a great match against them," Vinci said. "They were playing really unbelievable in the first set."
"They were playing so aggressive that we knew we couldn't play long points anymore - every ball we gave them, they were hitting so many big shots and winners from," Errani said. "So we knew we had to be more aggressive after the first set. And they also started making more mistakes after that."
Errani and Vinci have now won 13 matches in a row - six to win the Australian Open, three to win Paris [Indoors], one in Fed Cup play last weekend and three more so far this week here in Doha.
Awaiting them in the final will be the No.2 seeds, Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik, who were also pushed to the limits in their match, edging No.3 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, 36 63 1210. Petrova and Srebotnik needed three match points to close out the American combination.
"We're quite happy we kept cool and collected and were able to finish it at the end," said Petrova after being asked about some of the close calls in the match tie-break. "We feel quite confident."
The only time Errani and Vinci have played Petrova and Srebotnik was in the Sydney final this year, with Petrova and Srebotnik winning, 63 64 - that was actually the Italians' last loss together.
"We're definitely looking forward to it," Petrova commented. "We had an exciting match against them in Sydney - I think it was quite entertaining for the crowd. So we'll try to do the same tomorrow."
Errani and Vinci have won an incredible 15 WTA doubles titles together going into the final, including three Grand Slams - the French and US Opens last year and the Australian Open this year.
Petrova and Srebotnik have two WTA doubles titles together - Moscow in 2008 and Sydney this year.