Doubles Take looks back at the last warm-ups before the Australian Open.
It looks like Yung-Jan Chan and Andrea Hlavackova are getting there: The new team went a step further than their semifinal debut last week in Brisbane by reaching the final in Sydney. However, they ran into a team that has its rhythm down, 2017 Miami Open champs Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu.
The Canadian-Chinese duo, seeded third in the tournament, beat the top seeds 6-3, 6-1. This is Dabrowski and Xu’s third hard-court title in less than a year.
On the men’s side, top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo made their season debut a perfect one.
The 2017 Wimbledon champs captured their ninth team title with a straight-sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff and Viktor Troicki.
At last year’s tournament, Melo and Kubot—who were kicking off their first season as full-time partners—lost their opening match. It just took a little time to gel.
THE BEST TEAM IS SCHUURS AND AN “ERTENS”?
Last week, Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands teamed up with her countrywoman Kiki Bertens to win the title in Brisbane. This week, Schuurs and Elise Mertens of Belgium won the title in Hobart, 6-2, 6-2, over Lyudmyla Kichenok and Makoto Ninomiya.
It was quite the week for the champs: Schuurs ran her record up to 8-0 on the season, while Mertens also took the singles title, becoming the second WTA player in as many weeks to “double up” at a tournament. (Simona Halep pulled off the feat in Shenzhen.)
It’s been quite the past seven months for Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic: a Grand Slam final (Wimbledon), an appearance at the ATP Finals, and now, an unbeaten start to the new year.
Fresh off their second team title together in Qatar, Marach and Pavic won the title in Auckland, beating Philipp Oswald and Max Mirnyi 10-7 in a deciding match tiebreak.
NEWS & NOTES
Just a quick shout-out to Kubot and Mirnyi, who notched some impressive milestones over the week. Kubot joined Melo atop the rankings and became the first Polish player—male or female—to reach No. 1 in the world in singles or doubles. Mirnyi, who won his 50th career title with Oswald last year in Moscow, recorded his 1,000th overall match victory between singles and doubles.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Grand Slam season starts with the Australian Open. Stay tuned for the Doubles Take: Australian Open preview. Not only that: the tournament’s going to get the same treatment rolled out at last year’s US Open: a daily look at the matches to watch, plus a recap. Hopefully you’ve done your Australian time-zone prep!
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