Spaniards Seize Fourth Title of Season
Published July 20, 2009 03:59
It was a dominant week for second-seeded doubles teams on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, as No.2 seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez and Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko captured titles in Palermo and Prague, respectively, without dropping a set. Interestingly enough, both title-winning duos lost in the finals of events the previous week, Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez in Bastad and the Bondarenkos in Budapest.
Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez were especially impressive in Saturday's final at the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo, routing unseeded Darya Kustova and Mariya Koryttseva, 61 62. The win tied the Spaniards with co-world No.1s Cara Black and Liezel Huber for most Tour doubles titles for the year with four, having previously won at Bogotá, Acapulco and Barcelona. Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez both now have nine Tour doubles titles in their careers, five with each other.
Meanwhile, at the ECM Prague Open, the Bondarenko sisters were victorious by the same 61 62 score in Sunday's final, over top-seeded Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. It was their third doubles title on Tour together, having previously captured the Australian Open and Paris [Indoors] last year. Their best results this season had been runner-up showings at Hobart and Budapest.
In the race to qualify for one of the four spots available for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009, Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez jumped Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual for the third spot a week after passing Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs for the fourth spot. The Bondarenkos moved up one spot to 12th place.