A look at the last big event before Roland Garros, plus a peek at this week’s action: It’s all here in Doubles Take.
(SOMEWHAT OF A) REPEAT PERFORMANCE
Last year, when it appeared she was going to win every tournament in sight, Demi Schuurs added Rome to her victory lap through the season, taking the title with Ashleigh Barty.
Proving the tournament was much to their liking, the two made a return appearance to the final—albeit with different partners.
Schuurs teamed up with the veteran Anna-Lena Groenefeld, while Barty partnered Victoria Azarenka, guaranteeing one player would repeat as champ.
The unseeded duo of Barty and Azarenka knocked off the eighth-seeded pair to cap off a dominant week, one where they took every match in straights, including wins over the No. 1 team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, as well as Madrid champs Su-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova.
A CLEARER REPEAT PERFORMANCE
Peaking at the right time? Yes, you can definitely say that about Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
A couple of weeks after claiming their first title of the season at the 500-level event in Barcelona, “Colombian Power” has won its second at the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome.
The defending champions beat Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in straight sets in the final. That was a relief for the pair as they barely eked out wins against the Bryan brothers and Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the quarterfinals and semis, respectively.
After struggling at the French Open in their earlier appearances, Cabal and Farah have had some solid performances there the past two seasons and will enter this year’s edition among the favorites as they try to win their first major.
It’s the last chance for players looking to get in a tuneup before Roland GAros kicks off in a few days time, and both tours have two events going on. At the ATP stop in Geneva, the only seeded team to make it out of the first round is Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. The top seeds are still seeking their first title of the season and will have runner-up points to defend in Paris, so building momentum is crucial. In Lyon, the seeds have fared much better, led by Rome runner-ups Klaasen and Venus.
For the women, the field is exceptionally deep in Nurnberg, with Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu sitting atop the draw. Groenefeld and Schuurs were supposed to play, but are unable to make a go of it. At the Strasbourg event, the top seeds Nadiia Kichenok and Abigail Spears are through to the quarterfinals already. They’re joined in the final eight by last year’s surprise French Open finalists Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya, seeded No. 2.
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