SINGAPORE - Defending champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina needed just 59 minutes to return to the final four at the BNP WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global on Friday, defeating Miami Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yi-Fan, 6-1, 6-1.
"It was a really good match for us, everything was working - we were playing light and easy," Vesnina said. "There are not many matches in the year you can play like that. It's really good that we could play it here in Singapore in the year-end championship, the most important tournament of the year.
"We're really pleased the way we played today and happy that we won."
The Russian duo got their revenge for a 7-6(3) 6-1 quarterfinal defeat to the Canadian and Chinese pair in Miami, and were crisp and sharp from the first ball.
They broke serve five times total, never trailed, and set the tone early as they sprinted out to a 5-0 lead in the first set.
"That match [in Miami] was good for them, they won the tournament," Makarova recalled. "Today we felt very good out there, and it was a great atmosphere. It's nice to come back to [try to defend] our title and it feels amazing."
Makarova and Vesnina will next face Johanna Larsson and Kiki Bertens for a spot in their second straight Singapore final, after the unseeded duo came through an epic against Australian No.4 seeds Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty in three tiebreaks.
"We watched that match/ - I think it was a really great doubles match today and we enjoyed watching it. It's a good win for them. We played against them once and they're a very tough team," Vesnina assessed.
"They're playing good in singles and they're good doubles players, so it's tricky."
Vesnina continued: "Our level has to be really high to beat them. This kind of stage, everybody is trying to show their best tennis, and everybody is really hungry and excited. We will try to use our experience from last year and will try to win to stay a little bit longer in Singapore, because we love it here."