DUBAI, UAE - In their first final of the season together, Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei are champions.
The No.3 seeds completed their run through the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday, downing No.7 seeds Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova to win the title, 6-4, 6-4.
The duo previously won the Premier Mandatory event in Indian Wells last spring, but added a Premier 5 title to their haul without the loss of a set this week, defeating three other seeded teams.
In each set, the No.3 seeds set the tone early, breaking Hradecka and Makarova in their first service game, and continued to apply pressure on the Czech's serve in particular throughout the match.
"I think we were playing really, really good, high level, especially second set when we were leading 4-1. Until 4-1, 40-Love, we didn't kind of miss any ball. We had the chemistry on court. We know exactly what to do," Strycova said.
"This game I had easy volley there to finish it to 5-1. Didn't make it. Su-wei was at the net when it was 4-All, I was serving, and she helped me there three times. That helped us a lot to have the confidence again."
However, their fellow decorated veterans in Hradecka and Makarova were not easily beaten, as they responded from a break down twice in each set as they looked to win their first title together since the Premier 5 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last summer.
Ultimately, though, the No.7 seeds crucially surrendered serve in the 10th game of each set to finish as runners-up in their third career final together.
After the pair linked up following the Australian swing, they suffered an early exit in Doha in their first match at the hands of Jelena Ostapenko and Veronika Kudermetova, but rebounded with aplomb this week.
Added Hsieh: "I'm happy to play together. We always enjoy. I mean, last week was tough, but I was very positive. I don't really worry about it. We tried really hard this week to improve little bit than last week. We do better and better.
"It is very good combination what we do. We're covering. We are running everywhere - was pretty fun."