Istanbul Doubles Draw Revealed
Published October 27, 2011 12:00
ISTANBUL, Turkey - The doubles event at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2011 will be full of players who fans know quite well. In fact, three of the four duos and seven of the eight participants are the same as last year's season finale in Doha, with the only difference being Lisa Raymond is now with Liezel Huber instead of Rennae Stubbs. This year's four teams have combined for five of the last six Grand Slam titles, and the eight participants have seven WTA Championships between them and 19 majors.
If they play anything like they have for most of this season, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik should be the favorites. They have been very consistent, compiling a 53-13 match record in 20 events, and have made nine finals, winning a WTA-best six of those, including their first Slam at Wimbledon.
"Kveta and I are so happy to have made it to the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships for the second year in a row as a team," Srebotnik said after she and Peschke became the first team to qualify in September. "It's a really special event and something we aim for every season. We've had a great year so far and now we're looking forward to finishing 2011 off in Istanbul and trying to win the title."
Peschke and Srebotnik's semifinal foes on Saturday will be Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova. Although the American-Kazak duo didn't quite mimic last year's success when they won two majors, they still captured two titles in 2011, most recently just last week in Moscow. They also were runners-up three times, including at the US Open.
Huber and Raymond have the edge over all the other competitors when it comes to experience, as Huber has won this event twice and Raymond three times. This will be their first time playing as a duo, though, and in fact this was their first season playing any event together. After a slow start they captured three titles from August on, including the US Open, and had a 12-match winning streak - second only to Peschke and Srebotnik's 14 - for longest of the year. The Americans' final four opponents in Istanbul will be Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta.
While Dulko and Pennetta also did not top their 2010 campaign when they won a WTA-best seven titles, highlighted by the WTA Championships, they did pick up their first major at the Australian Open. Also, they have heated up recently, reaching finals in Tokyo and Beijing.
One team that did not make the Istanbul field but ended their season (other than Fed Cup) on a strong note was Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. The Czechs captured their fourth title of the year last week in Luxembourg, where they were also titlists in 2009 and runners-up in 2010.
Career Records Of Istanbul Participants Vs. Each Other
|Vs. Kata/Kveta||Vs. Liezel/Lisa||Vs. Vania/Slava||Vs. Flavia/Gisela|