ROME, Italy - Playing their first tournament together in seven months, top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova will bid for their fourth title of 2020 at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Having won Dubai and Doha in consecutive weeks prior to the tour's hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the top two doubles players in the world reunited this week to reach their fifth final in five tournaments together this season.
Needing just over an hour and a half to reach the championship match, Hsieh and Strycova overcame the challenge presented by unseeded Hayley Carter and Luisa Stefani in Saturday's semifinals, 7-5, 6-4.
Though the top seeds haven't dropped a set this week, they were tested in a tight straight-set semifinal match after opening up a big lead.
After falling behind 5-0, Carter and Stefani - who won their first WTA title on the hard courts of Lexington, Ky. prior to the US Open - won five games in a row and saved two set points along the way to level the opener at 5-5.
Undaunted, however, Hsieh and Strycova captured eight of the last nine points to wrap up the set, and later saved four break points in a crucial 4-4 game in the second set to deny the Brazilian and American the opportunity to extend the match.
Looking to extend their winning streak to 12 straight matches, Hsieh and Strycova will face the unseeded pairing of Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru for the title.
Paired together for the first time this year, the German and Romanian pair defeated No. 7 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan in Saturday's semifinals, 3-6, 6-2, 10-4, marking their second win over a seeded team in four matches this week.
In the opening round, they defeated No. 8 seeds Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, while they also came from a set down in the quarterfinals to beat Poland's Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera of the United States, 5-7, 7-6(4), 10-8.
Friedsam is bidding for her second career WTA doubles title, while Olaru is eyeing her 10th.