ZHUHAI, China - Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok captured their third title together at the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy, defeating Shuko Aoyama and Lidziya Marozava 6-4, 3-6, [10-7] in a hard-fought final.
It was the Ukrainian twins' third win in a match tiebreak in as many matches this week: they had topped the Bougainvillea Group by defeating Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya 6-4, 1-6, [10-7] and Jiang Xinyu and Yang Zhaoxuan 7-6(9), 3-6, [11-9]. This was a statistic they were particularly proud of: "We won three super-tiebreaks, that's a great percentage for us!" enthused Nadiia. "I hope we can keep it going next year. It was a great tournament for us and we're just extremely happy."
Previously champions in Shenzhen 2015 and Florianopolis 2016, the 26-year-olds' highlight this season was reaching their first Premier final in San Jose, where they were runners-up to Latisha Chan and Kveta Peschke. Today, the sisters came from a break down to win the opening set against the Hong Kong finalists, but were unable to do the same in the second set. However, they dominated the start of the match tiebreak, leaping out to a 4-1 lead - and though their Japanese-Belarusian opponents would level it at 6-6, the Kichenoks held firm to win the final three points.
"It feels amazing to win the last tournament of the year," said Lyudmyla. "And now we're going to enjoy our vacation even more!"