GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- No.3 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens saved set points in the opening frame to come back and defeat No.6 Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk 7-6(3), 6-2 to open play in the El Tajín group on Day 2 of the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara. 

Each playing in her first WTA Finals, Guarachi and Krawczyk had the upset on their minds early. The Chilean-American duo, who lifted two titles in 2021 in Adelaide and Strasbourg, raced out to a quick 3-0 lead in their first meeting against Hsieh/Mertens.

Guarachi/Krawczyk would build their lead to 4-1 before the No.3 seeds began their comeback. Two clutch wins on deciding points by Hsieh/Mertens, first to break Krawczyk and get back on serve at 3-4, and again to save back to back set points as Hsieh served at 5-6, 30-40, proved the difference in the opening set. Krawczyk will rue the forehand volley she earned on a poach on the first set point, which she punched long. 

After missing their two chances to close out the set, Guarachi/Krawczyk were overrun in the tiebreak. After Guarachi double-faulted to opening the breaker, Hsieh and Mertens raced to a 6-0 lead before closing out it out on their fourth set point in 52 minutes.

"I would like to thank Elise for always staying there when her partner is making mistakes at the baseline and the net," Hsieh said. "I'm just happy I was winning my serve."

With a set in hand, Hsieh and Mertens stayed in control through the second set. The duo spent the past few seasons enjoying great doubles success with different partners - Hsieh with the now-retired Barbora Strycova, and Mertens with Aryna Sabalenka. Their newly forged partnership has gelled well in the latter half of the 2021 season, yielding titles at Wimbledon and Indian Wells to qualify for the WTA Finals in their first year together. 

That trust and confidence showed in their opening match, as they would win four of the five deciding points they faced, including the first breakpoint they earned in the second set to break to 3-1 and again on match point to close out the win in 1 hour and 23 minutes. 

Krejcikova, Siniakova on a mission

No.1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova have won almost every major accolade in the sport: Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the Billie Jean King Cup, the Olympic gold. The WTA Finals has hitherto eluded the Czech duo - they were previously runners-up to Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in 2018 - but they set about rectifying that in emphatic fashion in their first group match, a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of No.8 seeds Sharon Fichman and Giuliana Olmos.

A passionate crowd was out in force to support Olmos, the first Mexican player ever to qualify for the WTA Finals. A competitive first set saw her team get the home fans going as they pegged Krejcikova and Siniakova back from an early break to level at 3-3.

However, some fine teamwork from Krejcikova and Siniakova on a lob-volley combination regained their break immediately, and they rolled from there.

Afterwards, Krejcikova thanked the crowd for creating a "beautiful atmosphere", and said that "adapting to the conditions" had been key.

"Every time we come out we need to come out with a big game," said Siniakova. "Because everybody knows us."