DUBAI, UAE - No.6 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shaui continued their solid start to 2017, knocking out Mandy Minella and Anastasija Sevastova, 7-5, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Peng shook off a disappointing singles loss to Sevastova to pair Hlavackova, with whom she reached the Australian Open final, to get her revenge on the Latvian in doubles.
"It's not always easy to play after Shuai loses in singles on the same day," Hlavackova said after the match. "Obviously, you're sad, but it's nice that we were able to work as a team and just fight for the doubles anyway. That's what I felt today. We were just better players but they played very solidly. Sevastova's having a good week so she was playing unbelievable serves and forehands. It was always close so I'm happy we got through."
The duo raced out to a 4-1 lead to start, and survived a surge from Sevastova and Minella to clinch the opening set and ride the momentum to a one hour and six minute victory.
"It seems like it's going well. We always had good results together, so it's not a huge surprise for both of us. But nothing is guaranteed, so we've worked hard for every win.
"We're looking forward to playing more big events like these. We play very well together."
Hlavackova is coming off a longterm partnership with Lucie Hradecka, with whom she qualified for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global the last two years in a row. What do Hradecka and Peng have in common? A two-handed forehand.
"Maybe I like their mentality, but whatever happens I guess I need to keep looking for more double-handed players!" joked the Czech veteran.
Earlier in the day, top seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic recovered from 0-4 in the match tie-break to oust Viktorija Golubic and Kristyna Pliskova, 7-5, 4-6, 10-5. Mladenovic had to shake off a singles loss of her own to reunite with Garcia in time to reach the quarterfinals, where they'll play No.5 seeds Chan Hao-Ching and Yaroslava Shvedova, who defeated Irina-Camelia Begu and Daria Kasatkina, 6-3, 6-3.