Dechy, Santangelo Marvelous in Monterrey
Published March 10, 2009 12:00
MONTERREY, México - Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo won their third Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title together at the inaugural Monterrey Open, topping Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in Sunday's final, 63 64.
Dechy and Santangelo, who came back from 3-0 down in the second set of the final, also won Rome in 2007 and Auckland earlier this year. Dechy now has six Tour doubles titles to her name while Santangelo has eight. The victory vaulted Dechy, who has been as high as eighth, from 25th to 21st in the doubles rankings, while Santangelo, who has been as high as fifth, went from 58th to 48th.
Dechy and Santangelo, who were seeded fourth, did not drop a set on the way to the title, but they did have a couple of tight matches. Surprisingly, their easiest match was a 64 62 semifinal rout of the No. 2 seeds, Vania King and Zheng Jie.
The pairing seems to be working especially well for Santangelo this year, as along with her two titles with Dechy, she also reached the Australian Open semis with her, but hasn't won more than one match in the three tournaments she's played with other partners.
The unseeded Benesova and Zahlavova Strycova's surprise run to the Monterrey finals included a straight set first round upset of the No.3 seeds, Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Shahar Peer. The top seeds, Flavia Pennetta and Maria Kirilenko, withdrew before the start of the tournament because of a left knee injury that also forced Kirilenko to retire during her second round singles match.