NEW YORK, NY, USA - It'll be the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds who'll square off for the doubles title at the Western & Southern Open, as Nicole Melichar and Xu Yifan and Kveta Peschke and Demi Schuurs advanced to the final with a pair of straight-set wins on Friday.
In the day's first semifinal, Peschke and Schuurs needed just just under an to dethrone the defending champions, No.8 seeds Andreja Klepac and Lucie Hradecka, with a 6-2, 6-1 win in 59 minutes. Later in the day on Court 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Melichar and Xu triumphed over the surprise unseeded tandem of Viktoria Kuzmova and Iga Swiatek to book their own spots in the final, 6-4, 7-5.
In the opening match, Peschke and Schuurs dominated from the start, never allowing the defending champions a foothold. The No.3 seeds broke serve early and often, five times in all, and never lost serve themselves in the second set.
In the second semifinal, Xu and Melichar managed to cool off the red-hot pairing of Kuzmova and Swiatek, who recorded a victory over Lyudmyla and Nadiia Kichenok, and Auckland champions Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend among their trio of victories this week.
The fifth game of the opener was the decisive one for the seeded pair, as they broke to love to move ahead, 3-2, and surrendered just two points in three subsequent service games to wrap up a one-set lead. Their momentum continued into the second set as they established an early 2-0 lead, and ultimately, held off a comeback effort from their younger foes to advance.
With Xu serving for the match at 5-4, Kuzmova and Swiatek conjured a love break, but the No.2 seeds responded by coming through in the clutch: with deciding points on offer in each of the next two games, the veteran duo found their best tennis to ultimately seal the one hour, 15-minute victory.
No.2 seeds Melichar and Xu, a new pair for 2020, will bid for their second title of the season, having triumphed at the inaugural Premier event in Adelaide, Australia in January. For Peschke and Schuurs, who also teamed up at the start of this year, it will be their first appearance in a final together.
The No.3 have combined to reach four finals at the Western & Southern Open over the years alongside other partners, though, with Peschke reaching the final in 2005 and 2013, and Schuurs finishing as runner-up with Elise Mertens and Anna-Lena Groenefeld over the past two years.
Notably, the final sees Melichar face against her former longtime partner Peschke with a trophy on the line for the first time. The duo reached eight finals together between 2018-19, including the 2018 Wimbledon final.