Kveta & Kata Into Final, Huber Secures No.1
Published October 29, 2011 12:00
ISTANBUL, Turkey - The Top 2 teams in the world will do battle for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships doubles title, as Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik and Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond both toughed out semifinal wins against very talented teams in the semifinals on Saturday.
Peschke and Srebotnik, the No.1 seeds, were the first team into the final, getting the only break of serve in the first set then rebounding after a second set lapse to beat Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, 63 64. Peschke and Srebotnik broke King's serve en route to taking the opening set and built a 3-0 lead in the second, only to lose four straight games; but the momentum swung again and they won three more games of their own to close it out.
"We lost our momentum a little bit in the second set and they also started playing much better," Srebotnik said. "Things can turn quickly with this scoring system. But then we played well in the important moments. We had a good game to make it 4-all, and then we were able to take charge again."
Both Peschke and Srebotnik will be in their third final at the year-end finale. Srebotnik was a runner-up in 2007 with Ai Sugiyama, while Peschke was a runner-up in 2008 with Rennae Stubbs; they made last year's final together.
Huber and Raymond, the No.2 seeds, followed with a 46 63 107 victory over Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, the defending champs at the year-ender. Huber and Raymond not only rallied from a set down to win, they also came back from 3-6 in the match tie-break, Huber hitting winners on four of the last five points of the match (two drop volley winners and two big overheads).
"It has kind of been a pattern playing Gisela and Flavia that we'll lose a set then play a great tie-break, like we did tonight," Raymond said after the match.
"It's a dream come true," Huber said of reaching the final. "We're not spring chickens. It's amazing to have this high towards the end of our careers."
Both Huber and Raymond have won this title before but with other partners. Huber is a two-time former champion (alongside Cara Black in 2007 and 2008) while Raymond is a three-time former champion (with two different partners - first Rennae Stubbs in 2001, then Samantha Stosur in 2005 and 2006).
The two teams have played just once before, in the final of Eastbourne in June - and it swung in Peschke and Srebotnik's favor in 59 minutes, 63 60.
"They're the No.1 team in the world. We're the underdogs," Raymond added. "All four of us enjoy playing indoors so we're going to go for it tomorrow."
The icing on the cake for Huber - who is currently spending her 154th week at No.1 on the doubles rankings - is by virtue of playing the semifinal match she secured the year-end No.1 doubles ranking. With all of the weeks she will add onto her total through the off-season, she will get to at least 164 weeks and pass former partner Black on the all-time doubles No.1 list (she will be second only to Martina Navratilova, who spent an incredible 237 weeks there).