Huber & Petrova Reach Doubles Final
by Dana Hatic|
Huber and Petrova won a break early on and carried the momentum to hold serve for the set. Though in the first set Martinez Sanchez and Medina Garrigues had the stronger first serve percentage at 70 per cent, Huber and Petrova took command of the net. In the final game, the pair pushed their opponents to the baseline and hit an overhead winner followed by an ace to close out the set.
“Things were working pretty well, I think we both played well,” said Petrova, addressing their dominance in the first set.
Though Huber and Petrova broke early on in the second set for a 2-1 advantage, Martinez Sanchez and Medina Garrigues focused on hitting at their opponents’ feet, and regained a break to even the set at 4-4. They held for 5-4, but Huber and Petrova imposed themselves at the net to even the set again and then break for another advantage.
Martinez Sanchez and Medina Garrigues would not be deterred, however, and broke back to force the tie-break. After Medina Garrigues hit another volley at Petrova’s feet, the Spanish team carried the advantage to win the second set.
“We started hesitating, and the other players stepped in and started going much more at the net,” said Petrova, reflecting on the challenge from the Spanish team. "But", she added, “we kept calm and we knew what to do [to push through the match]."
The match tie-break turned into a horse race, as the Spanish teammates evened the score four times before Huber and Petrova went up 8-6 off their opponents’ error and held the advantage, allowing Huber to serve for the match.
“We like to call our team ‘Power Tower’,” said Petrova, a moniker ascribed by Huber’s huband. “Our favorite play obviously being very aggressive coming to the net as soon as possible, closing in on our opponents.” This strategy worked well for the team today, and they will carry it into their quest for the Miami title.
Huber and Petrova advanced to Sunday’s final for the first time as a team, though each player has won the doubles title here individually. Petrova won in 2004 with Meghann Shaughnessy, and Huber won in 2003 with Magdalena Maleeva. The team will play the winner of this evening’s match, which features Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska against Shahar Peer and Shuai Peng.
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