Huber & Petrova Advance To Final
Published April 01, 2011 11:44
MIAMI, FL, USA - No.3 seeds Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova will play unseeded Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska for the Sony Ericsson Open title on Sunday, after both teams won their respective semifinal matches on Friday.
Impressively, former doubles world No.1 Huber will be contesting her 75th doubles final. The American and her Russian sidekick - notably playing her 35th doubles final - advanced to their fourth final in 11 outings as a team by beating eighth-seeded Spaniards María José Martínez Sánchez and Anabel Medina Garrigues, 63 67(3) 107.
Huber and Petrova were quick to steal the march in both sets, but while they held the advantage to take the opener, met greater resistance from their opponents in the second. The Spanish side broke back for 4-4 and duly retrieved another break to force a tie-break. In the ensuing match tie-break the No.8 seeds clawed back four mini-breaks but could not manage a fifth, and Huber served it out.
Although Huber and Petrova are playing their first Miami final as an outfit, both players have won the title with other partners. Petrova was victorious in 2004 with Meghann Shaughnessy, while Huber won in 2003 with Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva. Huber first played doubles at Miami in 1995; she is making her 15th appearance at the event, and playing her fifth final. Petrova was also runner-up here 12 months ago, with Samantha Stosur.
Since pairing up last year, the American-Russian duo has won the title at Charleston and finished runners-up at the US Open and, more recently, Doha. By contrast, Hantuchova and Radwanska are playing their first final on their fourth outing as a team, but their already fruitful partnership has included a semifinal run at Indian Wells and a quarterfinal showing at Doha.
The Slovak-Polish challengers moved into the Miami title bout with a relatively straightforward defeat of unseeded Shahar Peer and Peng Shuai, 62 64. Peer and Peng actually held just one fewer break point (11) than Hantuchova and Radwanska, but they were able to convert just three chances compared to six by the victors.
Hantuchova's last doubles title came at Rome way back in 2006, with now-retired Japanese icon Ai Sugiyama. Radwanska's sole doubles title was won at Istanbul in 2007 with her sister, Urszula.