They Work Hard For The Money...
Published May 11, 2013 12:00
In a draw that included Grand Slam champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka and three of the hottest teams of the year so far - Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza - it was a pair of unseeded teams that made the final, and with some strong returning it was Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova who finished first, 62 64.
"We're so happy - I'm already dancing and singing!" Pavlyuchenkova said as She Works Hard For The Money by Donna Summer blared in the background. "It's amazing. It's really important for us because we were working so hard together and playing well, and finally we've won such a big tournament."
"It's our second season playing together and I've always enjoyed playing with Anastasia," Safarova commented. "We're also great friends, so it's always a pleasure to play doubles with each other."
There were some tense moments towards the end of the final. Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova originally served for the match at 62 52 but were broken at love - Pavlyuchenkova then had to fight off a pair of break points as they served for the match a second time at 62 54, but they made it that time.
"We were extremely focused today because the last few matches we were really close to finishing it easier as well, but then losing some concentration and making some unforced errors," Pavlyuchenkova said. "It happened a little bit today but we learned from our mistakes and managed to close it out."
Pavlyuchenkova has been on particular fire as of late, winning two WTA titles at Monterrey and Oeiras and now another crown in doubles. "I feel great - unfortunately my body isn't 100% right now, but I'm trying to recover, and Lucie really helped me out this week, especially early on in the week."
And the Russian's new coach, Martina Hingis, hasn't just been helping her in singles. "She's great, and Lucie and I improved in doubles as well thanks to her - she gave us some amazing advice here."
Hingis is a former No.1 in doubles, too, with nine Grand Slam doubles titles: four Australian Opens (with Natasha Zvereva in 1997, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in 1998 and Anna Kournikova in 1999 and 2002); two French Opens (with Jana Novotna in 1998 and Mary Pierce in 2000); two Wimbledons (with Helena Sukova in 1996 and Novotna in 1998); and one US Open (with Novotna in 1998).
Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova now have two WTA doubles titles together, their first one coming at Charleston last year. Individually Pavlyuchenkova now has four WTA doubles titles, Safarova three.