Fifty-Sixth Time's The Charm For Eleni & Jasmin
Published August 01, 2010 12:00
Both title-winning teams this week on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour were unseeded, though one of them was a much bigger surprise than the other.
Eleni Daniilidou and Jasmin Woehr edged No.1 seeds Maria Kondratieva and Vladimira Uhlirova, 64 16 119, in Saturday's final of the Istanbul Cup. They have played together as far back as 2005 and finally, in their 56th Tour event as a duo and fourth final, emerged victorious.
"We have been playing such a long time together and it's so great that the hard work has paid off," said Woehr, whose other two career Tour doubles titles came in 2002 and 2004 alongside Barbara Schwartz. "I'm feeling endless happiness right now. We knew our opponents were full of confidence from winning the title last week and we had a really bad second set, but we fought and pulled our energy together and somehow we were just lucky in the end."
"We have stuck together for so many tournaments, so we are just so happy and really excited," said Daniilidou, whose only other Tour doubles title came in 2004 alongside Nicole Pratt. "The tournament has been really great to us and we hope to come back next year and defend our title."
As for Kondratieva and Uhlirova, their best result together before last week was a quarterfinal showing in Warsaw in May, yet now they have followed their title in Portoroz with a runner-up showing in Istanbul.
"I feel great," Kondratieva said. "Last week was our first title together and this week we were in the final again. It's a pity to lose such a close final but I'm very happy with the week."
Stanford's doubles final was also extended to a match tie-break, with wildcards Lindsay Davenport and Liezel Huber outlasting second-seeded Chan Yung-Jan and Zheng Jie, 75 67(8) 108. It was just their second outing together, their first having resulted in a quarterfinal appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, both are doubles legends, with this being Davenport's 38th Tour doubles title (sixth at this event) and Huber's 43rd (second at this event).
Davenport, who had her second child in June 2009, was playing her first event since retiring for the second time after the 2008 US Open.
"I have to thank everyone that is part of the tournament," said Davenport, who is partnering Huber again next week in San Diego. "It was back in March when [Tournament Director] Kim Hall first approached me about playing. Since I had not played in about two years, I said I would think about it and then Liezel talked me into it. I am so excited and so happy that I did come back here to play, as it was one of my favorite tournaments."
"This has been an amazing week and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to play with Lindsay," said Huber, who will return to No.1 on the new doubles rankings. "I am so glad she decided to come out of her… hiatus, I don't want to say retirement. She played so amazing all week. The Bank of the West Classic is a great tournament and has so much history. Today was a great match that could have gone either way. Zheng Jie and Chan Yung-Jan were tough opponents and certainly pushed us to the limit. I am glad we were able to win the title this week."