Huber & Raymond Win Tokyo, Istanbul Bound
Published October 01, 2011 12:00
TOKYO, Japan - Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond's winning streak hit 10 matches Saturday afternoon as they won the Toray Pan Pacific Open. The victory also qualified them for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.
Huber and Raymond first teamed up in April but only in the last two months have they really hit their stride, winning their first title as a team in Toronto and now winning two more back to back, the US Open and now Tokyo.
Seeded No.1 in the Japanese capital, Huber and Raymond clinched the title with a 76(4) 06 106 win over No.2 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, closing out a dead-even first set (both teams won 41 points in the set), then getting blanked in the second set before playing a solid match tie-break to seal the deal. They had also won their only previous meeting with Dulko and Pennetta, coincidentally 10-6 in the match tie-break, in the Toronto semifinals.
"It feels great to continue the run from New York and build on that," Raymond said. "Our goal is always to step on the court and win these matches, and hopefully win these titles. Hopefully we can keep it up the rest of the year."
"Tokyo is one of my favorite tournaments," Huber said. "Especially with what has happened in Japan, I feel like I owed it to the tournament to come and play. Once again the tournament and the people have been so great to me - we hope we gave them some enjoyment here and that everything turns around for them.
"To win a title here is so special."
Huber won her first Toray Pan Pacific Open title and 47th WTA doubles title overall. Raymond won her fifth title in Tokyo, having won it twice with Rennae Stubbs (2001, 2002) and twice with Samantha Stosur (2006, 2007); the American now has an incredible 73 WTA doubles titles to her name.
Huber and Raymond are now the second team to qualify for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. Reigning Wimbledon champions Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik were the first, qualifying during the summer.