TOKYO, Japan - No.2-seeded Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova took home their second doubles title of the year, handily defeating the unseeded Chinese duo of Liang Chen and Yang Zhaoxuan 6-1, 6-1, in the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
"We were playing great from the beginning to the end," Strycova said in their post-match press conference. "We actually didn't make any errors in the first set and we felt great on the court. I think it was one of the best matches we played together."
Mirza and Strycova, who first teamed up in Cincinnati and won their first title at the Western & Southern Open, overcame a tough draw which saw them face off against home favorites Misaki Doi and Kurumi Nara in the first round. After edging past the Japanese duo 6-7(3), 7-5, 10-8, Mirza and Strycova cruised against Kato Miyu and Xu Yifan before battling past Gabriela Dabrowski and María José Martínez Sánchez to reach the final.
Liang and Yang faced a tougher road to the Tokyo final, needing to battle past two seeded teams - the No.1-seeded Chan Hao-Ching and Chan-Yung-Jan in the first round, then the No.3 seeds Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears before booking a clash against Mirza and Strycova.
"It's great to play your best tennis in the final, we were happy to do that," Mirza said. "We played very solid, and we kept our concentration the whole match. Like [Barbora] said, it was one of the best matches that we played."
The victory puts Mirza and Strycova one step closer to a potential spot in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Entering Tokyo the duo sat at No.19 on the Road to Singapore Leaderboard, trailing the Top 8 by about 500 points. With 470 points now in the bag, the team received a major boost in their standings.