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Mattek-Sands, Petrova Win Another Premier Event

Bethanie Mattek-Sands took the title in Stuttgart, while Alisa Kleybanova and Ekaterina Makarova captured Fès.

Published May 04, 2009 12:00

Mattek-Sands, Petrova Win Another Premier Event
Nadia Petrova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands

STUTTGART, Germany - The doubles title at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix went to unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova, who took their second straight Premier title with a 57 63 107 match tie-break win over Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the final. The American now has six Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles titles to her name while the Russian has an impressive 17 in her career.

Mattek-Sands and Petrova seem to be match tie-break specialists, as they knocked off Cara Black and Liezel Huber, co-ranked No.1 in the world and the No.1 seeds, 75 46 107, in the quarters and third-seeded Virginia Ruano Pascual and Zheng Jie, 75 26 106, in the semis. They also won the final at Charleston last month in a match tie-break, over Liga Dekmeijere and Patty Schnyder. The Stuttgart event was their fourth outing as a team.

There were two first round surprises in Stuttgart, as second-seeded Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama fell to Abigail Spears and Sun Tiantian, and fourth-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Schnyder lost to Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

FÈS, Morocco - Alisa Kleybanova and Ekaterina Makarova were victorious at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, both taking away their first Tour titles of any kind. The No.2 seeds, they saved four match points during an 18-16 match tie-break quarterfinal win over Camille Pin and Aurelie Védy, then went on to win another match tie-break in the final, beating No.1 seeds Sorana Cirstea and Maria Kirilenko, 63 26 108.

Kleybanova and Makarova exacted revenge on Cirstea, as the Romanian beat them in the final of this event last year, with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The champs also had their best weeks ever on Tour in singles, with Makarova reaching her first Tour singles final and Kleybanova her first Tour singles semifinal, where she lost to her doubles partner.

The only early round surprise was third-seeded Petra Cetkovska and Lucie Hradecka losing their opening match to Maret Ani and Roberta Vinci.

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