Hlavackova & Safarova Win Dubai Thriller
Published February 18, 2014 12:12
Facing two match points in the match tie-break of their encounter with No.4 seeds Cara Black and Sania Mirza, Hlavackova and Safarova looked for like they would be the unfortunate losers of an early contender for match of the tournament.
However, after nearly two hours on court the Czechs had one last hand to play, and a pin-point serve and a down-the-line forehand winner helped them to the relative safety of 9-9. A few points later, they completed the turnaround, closing out a 76(5) 57 119 win when they triumphed in one final game of forecourt pinball.
"We saved two match points today in a very close match," Hlavackova said. "Both sets were so close, so either of us could have won. But to win it the way we did makes us very happy.
"All through the match it was up and down from all four players. In the end it's a little bit about luck because they are a strong team and we have to give credit to them as well."
Errani and Vinci were knocked off the top of the doubles rankings by Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-Wei earlier this week and when they dropped the opening three games of their opening round match another disappointment looked on the cards.
However, the Italians, who have made a career from overcoming adversity, came roaring back, winning eight of the next nine games to take a stranglehold of the match that they would not relinquish.
"It was very windy and the court was very fast, which suited them because they have strong serves," Errani said. "It's a tough first round - the draw here is very strong - so it wasn't easy and we were happy to win."