BEIJING, China -- The exceptional play of Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis continues in 2017, as the No.1 seeds eased to the China Open title on Sunday, dispatching No.4 seeds Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova, 6-1, 6-4.
"I've had success at China Open in the past," said Hingis, after the match, "so it's always nice to come back and relive the past memories, and create new ones by winning the trophy once again. We had some great fan support during the whole week and are very pleased with our performance today."
"It's always nice to be back in Beijing," Chan told the press after the final. "Definitely the tournament to look forward at the end of the season -- glad we've made it solid and strong again."
Chan and Hingis have now won nine titles this year, including their first Grand Slam title together at the US Open. They are currently in the midst of a staggering 18-match winning streak, and will go into the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global as one of the favorites.
"I think we were really aggressive from the beginning," Chan explained. "That's why we had quite a quick first set. We are both very happy with our performance."
Hingis agreed, saying "it was a great tournament for Latisha and I, and we are very happy we were able to show some good tennis out there."
Babos and Hlavackova could not clinch their fourth championship of the year, but still had a terrific week, during which they ousted No.2 seeds and Wimbledon champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, and became the fifth team to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore.
Hingis and Chan, the No.1 and No.2-ranked doubles players in the world, got off to a flyer of a start, winning the first three games of the match courtesy of excellent volleys by the Swiss veteran and strong groundstrokes from the Taiwanese star.
Good serving by Hlavackova, bolstered by some powerful Babos volleys, helped the Czech/Hungarian tandem get on the board for 3-1. But that would be the extent of their success during the first set.
Babos’s serve was broken for the second time in the set after a stunning service return by Chan on break point forced an error from the fourth-seeded team. With a 5-1 lead, Hingis stepped up to serve out the set, and came back from 0-30 in the game to hold when a service return went long.
The aggressive game of Babos and Hlavackova started to pay dividends in the competitive second set. Strong serving and volleying in the first game helped them fend off two break points and hold for 1-0, and the tilt was more evenly matched from that point forward.
Nevertheless, it was Chan and Hingis who claimed the only break of the second set at 3-3. With Hlavackova serving, the game went to a deciding point, and a fiery Chan forehand was too much to handle, giving the top seeds the crucial one-break lead.
With Hingis clicking on her commanding backhand, and Chan finding her rhythm in the forecourt, the single break was all they needed to sweep to victory. Hlavackova saved a match point at 5-3 with a brave overhead, but Chan served out the match at 5-4 when the Czech hit a return into the net on the third championship point.