A Week To Remember

Francesca Schiavone and Alisa Kleybanova took the title in Tokyo, topping Daniela Hantuchova and the retiring Ai Sugiyama in the final.

Published October 06, 2009 04:32

A Week To Remember
Daniela Hantuchova, Ai Sugiyama, Francesca Schiavone, Alisa Kleybanova

TOKYO, Japan - Alisa Kleybanova and Francesca Schiavone thwarted Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama's hopes of securing a title for Sugiyama in her last Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event.

Kleybanova and Schiavone, unseeded and playing together for the first time, defeated Hantuchova and Sugiyama, also unseeded, in the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, 64 62, on Saturday. The Italian-Russian duo was trailing 4-1 in the first set before going on a run that saw them only lose two games the rest of the way.

Kleybanova and Schiavone did not lose a set all week, including in their first round victory over No.3 seeds Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs and their semifinal upset of No.1 seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber. It was Kleybanova's third career Tour doubles title - all three coming this year with different partners - and Schiavone's seventh, but first of 2009.

During her 20-year career, Sugiyama captured 38 Tour doubles titles - three of them Grand Slams - and become the No.1 doubles player in the world in October 2000, the first Asian to reach No.1 in singles or doubles.

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