Last year the summer hardcourt season is where they began an incredible late season push for the WTA Championships, and history could be repeating itself this year - Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears followed up their Premier-level triumph in Stanford with another one in Carlsbad this past week.
The No.3-seeded Americans had a tricky first few matches, dodging an upset bit from Miami finalists Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson with a 64 63 win and then pulling off a 46 75 103 comeback win over the wildcard pairing of Daniela Hantuchova and Martina Hingis, rallying from 64 30 down - even coming within two points of losing at 64 54 - to beat Hingis in the first tournament of her doubles return.
"Actually that was a really good match," Spears said. "We felt really good about that one. Daniela played the best she's ever played against us, and it was also exciting to play against Hingis, such an amazing athlete and great tennis player. It's great that she's playing again. It's really a lot of fun."
"That was a really exciting match," Kops-Jones said. "We played great that match, and it feels great to play well and win at the same time. Sometimes they don't go together, but they did in that match."
"It feels great," Spears said. "We won in Carlsbad last year and we were so excited to come back to the tournament this year. It's my hometown. I grew up here. And that makes it even more special we were able to keep up the winning streak here, because we had a lot of friends and family out there."
Last year this is where their push for Istanbul started - how do they feel about their chances now?
"Of course we would love to go there," Spears said. "We didn't really have that goal until the last minute last year. It would be amazing if we could make it there this year. But we really need to concentrate on playing how we want to play and playing well. That's what we're focusing on first, and we'll see."
Kops-Jones and Spears now have eight WTA doubles titles together, having won one in 2009 (Estoril), one in 2011 (Québec City), four in 2012 (Carlsbad, Seoul, Tokyo [Pan Pacific] and Osaka) and now two in 2013. Kops-Jones now has 10 WTA doubles titles individually, while Spears has 12 to her name.
"This tournament has been great - I love it," Dushevina said. "Playing with Shuko was just great. She was the champion in doubles here last year. We had a good week and beat a good team in the final."
"Obviously we wanted to win our first title, but we're happy with the week," Bouchard said. "We played some good doubles and today we had a lot of chances, a lot of deuce points, but we weren't too consistent on the big points and made a few too many loose errors. But you learn. Next time we'll make sure to be on the ball. We always do well together and we'll play more again in the future."
Aoyama now has three WTA doubles titles, Dushevina two - this was their first title together.