Huber & Raymond's Toronto Breakthrough
Published August 14, 2011 12:00
TORONTO, Canada - It may not have finished the way they wanted, but Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond claimed the first WTA title of their recently-formed partnership, winning the Premier-level Rogers Cup after Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko gave them a walkover in Sunday afternoon's final.
Huber and Raymond, the No.3 seeds, had beaten some very accomplished teams en route to the final, most notably No.2 seeds and Australian Open champion Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the semifinals. But No.4 seeds Azarenka and Kirilenko weren't able to take the court for the final, Azarenka announcing her withdrawal due to a right hand injury.
Huber and Raymond started playing together four months ago and had been to two finals before, both at Premier-level, finishing runners-up at both - to Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik at Eastbourne and to Azarenka and Kirilenko at Stanford. This was their first title as a team - Huber now has 45 WTA doubles titles in her career, Raymond 71 WTA doubles titles.
"We played a great match against Dulko and Pennetta and were looking forward to playing the finals today," Huber said. "It has been a very enjoyable week in Toronto. We look forward to building on this title and we'll keep working hard!"
"It was definitely a very odd way to win a title, and such a big title as well, but Liezel and I have put in the time on and off the court, and it's starting to pay off," Raymond said. "Yesterday's semifinal was a big one for us to get through."
What's next for the American duo? "We're heading to Cincy tomorrow, then taking a much-needed week off before the Open," Raymond added. "We'll get some good practice in that week. Obviously our big goal for the summer is the US Open, so hopefully we can keep this up and play this well in New York."