Petrova & Srebotnik On Top In Miami
Published March 31, 2013 12:00
Though they have been one of the top teams in the world this year, since winning Sydney, Petrova and Srebotnik had been shut out in all three finals they had gotten to - Doha, Dubai and Indian Wells. But the No.3-seeded Russian-Slovenian duo broke that pattern in Miami, storming through the first set in just 21 minutes then twice rallying from a break down in the second set - including breaking down 6-5 just to stay in the set - to beat the breakthrough wildcard pairing of Raymond and Robson, 61 76(2).
"In the first set we were very focused," Petrova said afterwards. "We tried to be dominant and that worked. We broke them a couple of times. It was important for us to start strong. In the second set there were a few deciding points that could have gone either way and we were a bit unlucky there, but we were strong in the tie-breaker. It was very important for us not to let it get to the super tie-breaker."
"We're really pleased with our performance throughout the whole year so far," Srebotnik said. "We started off winning Sydney, then apart from losing against the Williams sisters in the Australian Open, every tournament we've played we've made it at least to the final. After three runner-ups we knew sooner or later we'd win again, but even if we didn't win today we'd be really happy with the final. We appreciate making finals, we know how tough it is to make it this far. But winning today is great."
Petrova and Srebotnik now have three WTA doubles titles together, having also won Moscow in 2008 and Sydney earlier this year. Individually, Petrova now has 23 WTA doubles titles and Srebotnik 32 - and both had already conquered Miami as well, Petrova winning it twice before in 2004 (with Meghann Shaughnessy) and 2012 (with Maria Kirilenko) and Srebotnik once before in 2008 (with Ai Sugiyama).
Now the Sony Open Tennis doubles champions will take a few weeks off from the grind of the tour.
"We have about three weeks of no tournaments now, which is great, for Nadia too," Srebotnik added. "Nadia plays singles as well, so this will be very good for her. It's like a double job playing both singles and doubles - I have to give her a lot of respect, because even after a tough day at the office on the singles side, she comes out and performs 100% in doubles. Not a lot of players are capable of that.
"I'm happy she's that determined to do well in doubles."
Raymond and Robson had been the breakout team of the tournament, a multi-generational combo that clicked immediately and had taken out three seeds in straight sets en route to the final - No.6 seed Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, No.4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina and No.1 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci - their win over Errani and Vinci came by a 61 62 scoreline.
The generation gap couldn't be clearer if you look at their records in finals - Raymond was playing her 121st WTA doubles final, now 79-42 in those, while Robson was in her first WTA doubles final.
"They are matching each other very well," Petrova commented. "Lisa has a great serve-and-volley game and is good at the net. Laura is serving big - her advantage is being lefty, because that's very difficult for a right-hander, and she has really powerful groundstrokes. You have to set the point well against them - if the ball is a little short, that's it. Lisa is all over the net or she goes at the net person."