WUHAN, China - Top seeds Chan Yung-Jan (Leticia) and Martina Hingis marched to their third consecutive title after taking down Shuko Aoyama and Yang Zhaoxuan at the 2017 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-4.
“It's nice to celebrate [my birthday] with a victory, obviously, and with a great partner to do it with,” said Hingis, who turned 37 today. “We're looking forward to the after party, so…
“It's my third time obviously here in Wuhan. It's even more special now with Leticia because she kind of guided me through this week. It was nice.”
Chan and Hingis came into the matchup with the knowledge that, regardless of the outcome of the final, Hingis would replace Lucie Safarova as No.1 in the WTA rankings on Monday for her 67th non-consecutive week at top spot, and Chan would occupy the No.2 spot – her career-best ranking.
The recent US Open champions hadn’t dropped a set en route to the final in Wuhan, but faced a tough challenge against the unseeded team, who was bidding to win their first Premier-level title.
The top seeds dropped serve in the opening game and spent the whole first set playing catch-up before forcing a tiebreak, where they finally pulled away. But Yang and Aoyama struck back in the second, recovering from an early break to reel off five games in a row. Chan and Hingis finally edged through in the match tiebreak to wrap up the match after an hour and 48 minutes.
“Martina and I have been performing very well this year,” Chan said. “We have won many matches. We have been through many difficult matches. We were very confident. Also, we have belief in each other. I'm very happy today that we won this match.”
With the victory, Chan and Hingis have now won 14 consecutive matches and last tasted defeat against Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke at Toronto in August.
They sit firmly in first place in the Road to Singapore standings and have already qualified for the season-ending BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
Hingis added: “It's pretty cool to go with a victory into next week because I'm going back to No.1. Leticia is highest ranking No. 2.
“Right now we feel like we are the team to beat, the hot team till the end. It's a nice position to be in.”