Czech Duo Wins First WTA Title Of 2012
Published January 07, 2012 12:00
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka won the first doubles title of the new WTA season Saturday, beating Julia Goerges and Flavia Pennetta for the International-level ASB Classic title in Auckland.
Hlavackova and Hradecka, who already had five WTA titles together - including a Grand Slam triumph at Roland Garros last year - were the No.3 seeds this week and didn't drop a set to make the final, including a surprise 64 60 semifinal demolition of the No.1 seeds, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.
Meanwhile, in their very first tournament together, No.4 seeds Goerges and Pennetta were coming out on top on the bottom half, squeaking past No.2 seeds Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina in a nail-biting semifinal, 26 76(2) 119.
With rain washing out the singles final on Saturday afternoon, the doubles final headed indoors, and it was Hlavackova and Hradecka who made the biggest final push, dropping the first set but cruising through the second set and eventually winning the last four points of the match tie-break to close the German-Italian partnership out in an hour and 26 minutes, 67(2) 62 107.
"It was my first time in this situation, moving a final indoors because of rain, but it was better than to play in the rain!" Hradecka declared afterwards.
"I thought we might not be able to play the final," Hlavackova commented. "The tournament did a very good job organizing this place and bringing people to watch. It was a good atmosphere and made for a fun final to play."
"With the super tie-break anything can happen - before today we had good luck with them, but today we missed maybe two shots in important moments," Pennetta said. "But Julia and I have to be really happy. We had never played together before. We had so much fun on the court and did so well this week."
Hlavackova and Hradecka collected their sixth WTA doubles title together, their first five coming at Bad Gastein and Prague in 2008, Bad Gastein again in 2009, Brisbane in 2010 and the aforementioned French Open in 2011. Hlavackova now has nine WTA doubles titles to her name, while Hradecka now has 12.
Goerges and Pennetta were also happy with the change in venue for the final.
"It was not a big deal to play indoors for me - I was happy because I could finally play," Goerges said. "The most important thing was we had fun."
"In situations like this you just need to go to the court and play," Pennetta added, "Centre Court, outside court, indoors - it was just amazing to play."
The Italian veteran also got some important match practice ahead of Sunday's rescheduled singles final, where she will play Chinese veteran Zheng Jie.
"Playing the doubles final today was good for me," Pennetta said. "Staying on the court and playing points was good the day before playing a final."