The newly formed pair of Timea Babos and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova outgunned top seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova to win the Apia International Sydney.
WTA Staff

SYDNEY, Australia - Timea Babos and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova hit through top seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova, 6-4, 6-4, to win their first title as a pair at the Apia International Sydney.

Babos and Pavlyuchenkova were playing just their second event together, playing just once at the end of last season in Moscow. Babos ended her seven-month partnership with Yaroslava Shvedova after the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

"I think at least we found a good balance on this," Babos said after the match. "It was definitely a great week. We beat some really good teams, the best teams, the last two, three rounds.

"To start like this, our partnership together is important and promising."

Pavlyuchenkova, by contrast, had opted to focus on singles for most of 2016, though the former Singapore alternate is more than capable on the doubles court.

"It's amazing, because Timea, she's more experienced in doubles," said the Russian. "She has a lot more titles and done great in the Grand Slams, as well.

"I'm really happy, because it's also nice to win a title in doubles. I feel like we had also been playing really good together."

Mirza teamed up with Strycova last summer, and the duo were playing their first event of 2017 together after the former No.1 paired with Bethanie Mattek-Sands to win the Brisbane International, passing the top spot to her good friend after 91 weeks leading the WTA rankings

The first set came down to just one break of serve, whereas the second featured four.

"We just went out there and tried to do our game, tried to dictate and play how we always played before and tried, like Timea said, to enjoy and not put too much pressure," added Pavlyuchenkova.

Babos and Pavlyuchenkova raced out to a 3-0 double break lead in the second set, and though Mirza and Strycova twice clawed the deficit down to one, the unseeded team emerged victorious after one hour and 14 minutes of play. For the fast-rising Hungarian youngster, it was her second title in Sydney.

"This was actually my first year when I played singles here," said Babos. "Last year I only played doubles. It's a great tournament. In general, Australia [is] one of my favorite countries if not the favorite. So I really enjoy being here. It's great atmosphere."