Hantuchova/Radwanska Triumph In Doubles Final
by Dana Hatic|
Daniela Hantuchova and Agnieszka Radwanska claimed their first doubles title together today at the Sony Ericsson Open, upsetting the No. 3 seeded team of Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova, 7-6(5), 6-2, 10-8.
This is only the fourth tournament Hantuchova and Radwanska have played together, and each has reached the semi-finals (Hantuchova with Martina Hingis) and quarter-finals (Radwanska with Maria Kirilenko) of the Miami tournament. Though the pair reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells, they entered the Miami tournament unseeded, but prevailed in the section of the draw that saw all four seeded teams bow out before the quarter-finals.
“We really had fun and I think that was a big part of why we won the title this week,” said Radwanska after the upset. “These two weeks we really played some good tennis and that's how we were able to win this title.”
Hantuchova and Radwanska played a strong first set, dropping serve only once and claiming the tie-break over their opponents. Huber and Petrova, known for their strong net game, imposed on the net in the tie-break, but made errors that gave their opponents the advantage.
Huber and Petrova stepped up in the second set, winning two breaks over the Slovakian and Polish team and dominating with a series of overhead winners. Radwanska and Hantuchova held out in the match tie-break, winning six points off their serve and closing out the match in 1 hour 45 minutes.
“It was a close match but we kept on fighting,” said Hantuchova after the win. “We tried to stick to our game and that was to be aggressive. We tried not to think much about who we were playing. They are great doubles players. We tried to focus on what we were trying to do and it paid off.”
This is the fourth final appearance for Huber and Petrova since they teamed and claimed a title at Charleston in 2010. Huber is in her fifth Miami final, and Petrova in her third. The Russian finished runner-up here last year, when she partnered with Samantha Stosur. Both players have won the doubles title here individually. Huber won in 2003 with Magdalena Maleeva, and Petrova won in 2004 with Meghann Shaughnessy.
“Liezel and Nadia are both very good players and they gave us a tough match. We were able to keep fighting and played well on important points,” said Radwanska.
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