Sunday, April 7, 2013

Safarova repeats in Charleston

(photo by Daniel Ward)

Lucie Safarova (photo by Daniel Ward)

Kristina Mladenovic (photo by Daniel Ward)

Lucie Safarova has earned only two doubles titles in her career. One was at the 2012 Family Circle Cup, and the other--also at the Family Circle Cup--she won today. Prior to coming to Charleston, Safarova and Kristina Mladenovic had never been doubles partners, but that didn't matter. The champions defeated top seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Liezel Huber 6-3, 7-6.

Safarova and Mladenovic lagged behind through much of the second set, and the crowd was probably expecting a super-tiebreak. But the first-time team caught up and forced a second set tiebreak, which they won, 8-6.

It was as entertaining a match as fans could have hoped for. Safarova and Huber are both very skilled doubles players, able to score from all parts of the court. Of note today were Hlavackova's down-the-line winners, and Mladenovic's very soft, unreachable volleys.

(photo by Daniel Ward)

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