Sisters Conquer California
Published August 03, 2009 08:59
A team with a tremendous amount of doubles accomplishments was victorious in Stanford, while a less-heralded duo, but a successful one nonetheless, took the title in Istanbul.
Serena and Venus Williams showcased their renewed commitment to doubles by capturing the Bank of the West Classic with a 64 61 defeat of unseeded Chan Yung-Jan and Monica Niculescu in Sunday's final. The second-seeded sisters didn't lose a set en route to their third Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title of the year, having previously won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, their eighth and ninth Grand Slams together. The only blemish on their 2009 record is a loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova in the round of 16 at Roland Garros. This was the first non-Grand Slam title for the pair since Hannover in 1999. Serena now has 16 doubles titles, while Venus, who was the runner-up in the singles event, has 15. Chan and Niculescu scored the biggest upset of the tournament, taking out Cara Black and Liezel Huber, co-ranked No.1 in the world and the No.1 seeds, in straight sets in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, at the Istanbul Cup, third-seeded Lucie Hradecka and Renata Voracova edged second-seeded Julia Goerges and Patty Schnyder in a match tie-break in Saturday's final, 26 63 1210. The Czechs also needed a match tie-break to get through their semifinal against top seeds Yaroslava Shvedova and Ipek Senoglu. Hradecka, the runner-up in singles, and Voracova now have four Tour doubles titles together. Hradecka has seven as an individual, while Voracova has five.
"We had a bit of a slow start, but were better from the beginning of the second set. It wasn't easy winning the second set, but we kept fighting and in the end we won," Voracova said. "The match tie-break is always difficult. The nerves are in the game too and it's not always easy to play your best."
There were no changes in the order of the Top 10 teams in the race to qualify for one of the four spots available for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009, however, the Williamses solidified their hold on the No.2 position. In action this week in Los Angeles are the No.5 team - Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs, the No.7 team - Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-Wei and the No.8 team - Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama.