Doubles Season In Review
Published December 02, 2013 12:02
Parity reigned during the 2013 WTA doubles season, as four different duos won Grand Slam titles.
The early part of the season went much the same as the 2012 season, with Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci being the dominant force. During that period, the Italians were champions three times and runners-up three times. One of those titles came at the Australian Open, their third Grand Slam title in their last four Grand Slam outings. Surprisingly, their runner-up showing at the French Open in June was the last time they would reach a final all year, though what they did during the first half of their campaign would be enough for them to collect a second straight WTA Doubles Team Of The Year Award. They were also co-doubles World No.1s the entire season.
Errani and Vinci's conquerors in that Roland Garros final were Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. Though the Russians picked up just two titles in 2013, they were huge ones, having also been victorious Indian Wells.
"I'm so happy that we played so solid today and played exactly how we wanted to," Makarova said after she and Vesnina became the second all-Russian pairing to capture a Grand Slam doubles title. "We kept all the time to our game strategy and it worked today really well. It's a great feeling to win our first Grand Slam."
At Wimbledon, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai were triumphant - making Hsieh the first player from Chinese Taipei to win a Grand Slam title of any kind and Peng the fifth Chinese player to win a Grand Slam title of any kind.
"It's very special because I don't think tennis is popular in Taiwan," Hsieh said. "We don't even see many media during this tournament. But I'm very proud I could win this tournament together with my good friend. It's the first Grand Slam title for us, for Taiwan. It's a big thing for us in Taiwan."
The year's final Grand Slam, the US Open, saw Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua reach their third major final of the year, but fall short for the third time - this time against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, who netted the second Grand Slam title of their partnership.
"I think we clicked right away here, from the first match, even though we had no matches to prepare, really," Hlavackova said. "It's been a great wave we've been riding these two weeks. I cannot describe how I feel."
Hsieh and Peng improved to 5-0 in WTA finals in 2013 and 9-0 during their partnership with a triumph at the WTA Championships in October.
"We really enjoyed playing together this year," Peng said after being crowned at the season finale. "We had a really good time together on the court - we fought sometimes, but it was still a lot of great memories, just the whole experience!"
Not only did Hsieh and Peng win the most WTA doubles titles as a duo in 2013, but they tied for the lead among individuals with Sania Mirza and Kristina Mladenovic. Mirza's biggest win came at Beijing alongside Cara Black. Other champions of note this year were Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik in Miami and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova in Madrid.