ZHUHAI, China - Duan Ying-Ying and Han Xinyun were victorious in an all-Chinese final at the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, losing just three games to compatriots Lu Jing-Jing and Zhang Shuai, 6-2, 6-1.
The title is the first WTA doubles crown for Duan, who was playing in her first WTA doubles final on Sunday, while Han wins her second career trophy in her sixth career final.
Five of Han's six career WTA doubles finals have come in her home country, but she was victorious on home soil for the first time. She had previously raised her first WTA trophy at the Hobart International alongside American Christina McHale last year.
"We are both Chinese players, and we practically grew up together with Zhang Shuai in the team, and we play a lot together so we know each other. Before the match, I talked to Han about how we play today. They had a great match yesterday with another young team," Duan told reporters via translator after the match.
"After our communication off the court about the tactics, we completely dominated the game. I was particularly good at the baseline, and Han was excellent on the net, as well. We're so happy that we got the title."
A pair of game points went by on the Zhang serve as Duan and Han engineered an opening break, setting the tone for the match.
Four of the six break points that the No.6 seeds faced came in their opening service game of the first set, but they nonetheless managed to hold on, building a double break advantage by the first sit-down and restoring it with a love break of the Lu serve in the seventh game.
The second set began in much of the same fashion, as Duan and Han started to cruise by building a second double-break advantage at 3-0.
Using the combination of Duan's right-handed firepower and Han's left-handed angles, the duo never faced a break point in the second set, dropping just three points on serve.
The quartet, all in their late 20s, are members of what is currently the elder generation of Chinese tennis in the shadow of Li Na: Zhang, Lu and Duan all celebrated their 28th birthdays this season, while Han is 27.
"I just feel that players like us are still trying our best. This is a great thing. We are so happy for Zhang Shuai and what she has achieved, by far," Han said. "We all have different personalities, and we have been through a lot, but I believe our generation compared to the next one is more persistent and we have had a lot of ups and downs, but we are still sticking to it.
"I believe we will see breakthroughs for single players like Duan and Lu and also myself. Actually, Xu Yi-Fan already had her breakthrough. We will try to improve our WTA rankings, our rankings in the world."