Winners in Indian Wells with different partners, Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens will now have the opportunity to play for the BNP Paribas Open title together. The No.2 seeds cruised against No.3 seed Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in Thursday's semifinals, 6-2, 6-0, to advance to their second final as a team.
Hsieh and Mertens needed just 54 minutes to deny the Japanese team, winners of a tour-best five titles this year, a spot in their sixth final of the season as they broke serve five times and won the last nine games.
"We're very happy about the performance. Just everything clicked today," Mertens said after the match. "[Winning Indian Wells together] would mean a lot. It's one of the biggest tournaments in the tennis world, so we're just trying to enjoy the moment and play with my partner and friend."
In the final, they'll face Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Rybakina, who defeated Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko, 6-4, 6-3.
Mertens will have the opportunity to defend the title she won last year alongside Aryna Sabalenka, while Hsieh bids for a third title in the California desert after winning in 2014 with Peng Shuai and in 2018 with Barbora Strycova.
In the second, all-unseeded semifinal, Kudermetova and Rybakina denied Ostapenko the opportunity to add a berth in the doubles final to her singles semifinal showing this week.
The Russian-Kazakh pair, who've played three tournaments together this year, advanced to their first final together in 75 minutes, and notably, didn't need a match tiebreak to secure the win. In their first three matches this week, which included a second-round upset over No.4 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi, they were taken the distance.
"We're really happy to be in the final here in Indian Wells," Kudermetova said. "It's a big, huge tournament and we're super happy. To be honest, I think today we played not really well. It wasn't our best tennis, but we were motivated and we tried our best."
As a team, Kudermetova and Rybakina landed 71% of their first serves in victory, and broke their opponents six times. From 3-3 in the opener, they won three of the last four games to take a one-set lead, and though they failed to serve out the win at 5-2, secured victory on their third match point with another break.
Though Hsieh and Mertens and Kudermetova and Rybakina have never played, the No. 2 seeds have history with the Russian: they beat her and Elena Vesnina to win Wimbledon, saving match points along the way.