By Syed Arhm Ahmad/Doha
Top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic defeated Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada 6-2, 5-7, 10-2 to win the Qatar Total Open doubles title in one hour and 30 minutes at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex yesterday evening.
The Latvian and Canadian duo came out of the blocks very quickly and broke Hsieh’s serve to love in the very first game of the match, courtesy of some good returns and a double fault from Hsieh. The top seeds broke back in the 4th game when Hsieh hit a low backhand to Dabrowski, which forced a forehand volley error. The top seeds broke once again in the 6th game after Strycova put away an overhead smash. The momentum would shift after this break and the top seeds quickly reeled off the next 2 games to wrap up the set 6-2.
While Hsieh and Strycova served and volleyed well in the first set, they also played excellent defence, forcing Ostapenko and Dabrowski to regularly hit an extra ball back and this drew some errors from the Latvian and Canadian duo.
In the second set, the top seeds broke the Ostapenko serve in the second game with a blistering backhand return winner from Hsieh.
Ostapenko and Dabrowski broke back in the 7th game on Strycova’s serve when Strycova missed a volley into the net. Ostapenko and Dabrowski returned aggressively to break again in the 9th game but the top seeds would break right back in the very next game to level the set at 5-5. Ostapenko and Dabrowski would once again break for 6-5 after Strycova missed a backhand volley to complete a sequence of 3 consecutive breaks in the match. Dabrowski then served it out to win the second set 7-5 and send the match in to a match tiebreak.
In the tiebreak, the top-seeded pair quickly took a 6-0 lead courtesy of a few errors forehand errors from Dabrowski, and a double fault and forehand smash miss from Ostapenko. The large gap would prove too much to recover from, and Hsieh and Strycova converted their first match point on a forehand error from Ostapenko at 10-2.
Hsieh and Strycova served at a high percentage of 81 percent throughout the match and showcased some very impressive volleying both on offence and defence. The pair continuously exhibited laser sharp reflexes at the net, accurately blocking back even the biggest shots from Ostapenko and Dabrowski during the course of the match.
With their third title together this year, having won Brisbane and Dubai earlier in the year and having also reached the Australian Open finals, Hsieh and Strycova’s purple patch in 2020 continued.
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