Friday, 27 January 2017

Mattek-Sands and Safarova Doubles Champions

Women's Doubles Final time and the second seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) matched up against twelfth seeds Andrea Hlavackova (Czech Republic) and Shuai Peng (China).
Hlavackova and Peng upset the top seeds Garcia and Mladenovic in the semi final in straight sets, whereas unseeded Hozumi and Kato were the number two seeds' semi final victims.

Safarova served first and Peng volleyed well to win the opening point.  Three break points  after a Hlavackova return winner.  One saved.  A missed Mattek-Sands volley and the break came 1-0 Hlavackova and Peng.

Peng served next.  Hlavackova volleyed two winners and 30-0.  A Peng forehand winner and 40-0.  The love game made it 2-0.
Mattek-Sands served and hit a winner for 15-0.  30-15 after a return winner from Hlavackova.  Serve was held 1-2.

Hlavackova served and another love game for 3-1.  Safarova was better second time around and the lead was reduced to 3-2.
40-0 on the Peng delivery and still the team had not lost a point on serve.  That changed with an off forehand pushed wide.  Hlavackova won the game, splitting the pair across the net with a sharp volley.  4-2.

The third point of the next Mattek-Sands serve was terrific, with Peng finishing it off with the volley winner for 30-15.  It was 30-30 with another Peng winner, this time a backhand crosscourt volley.  Safarova stopped the rot with two wins at the net and it was 3-4.

Mattek-Sands and Safarova attacked in turn, Lucie directly at the body of Shuai Peng, and it was 0-30 on the Hlavackova serve.  A double fault brought up three break points.  Another double confirmed the break back and 4-4.
A Safarova ace for 30-0 and a service winner for three game points.  Serve held and the lead 5-4 to Bethanie and Lucie.

Shuai Peng served to stay in the set.  Return winner from Safarova and volley error from Hlavackova for 0-30.  Out of position Mattek-Sands and volley error resulted.  Good serve and 30-30.  Ace for game point.  Safarova winner and deuce.  Serve eventually held 5-5.

6-5 Mattek-Sands and Safarova after Bethanie held comfortably.  
Hlavackova served to stay in the set.  Safarova volley winner 15-15.  Strong serving and two game points.  One lost at the net by Peng.  Serve held and a tiebreak needed.

Points on serve for the first three.  Mattek-Sands put a backhand in the net and the team was down 1-3.  4-2 still with the mini break.  5-2 after a second return in succession found the net.  A clean return winner from Hlavackova off the Safarova serve and three set points.  A winning forehand over the top from Mattek-Sands saved one.  A volley from Hlavackova won the tie break 7-4 and the set 7-6.

Three break points in the opening game of set two on the Peng serve.  Two saved, the second with a smart Hlavackova volley.  Deuce after Peng went for the head of Safarova.  Another break point following a Mattek-Sands volley.  A moment of American magic clinched the break and the team led 1-0.
0-15 on the Safarova serve.  Drop shot winner from Bethanie and 30-15.  Fine tennis at the net from Peng and break point.  Saved with an overhead by Mattek-Sands.  Serve held for 2-0.

A fine volley by Mattek-Sands and 0-30 on the Hlavackova serve.  Three break points after a missed Peng volley.  Safarova split them to earn the break and a 3-0 lead.  A Hlavackova volley had a Safarova reply and 15-15 on the Mattek-Sands serve.  Double fault and break point.  A poor American forehand and the break 3-1.

Peng served and a slashing Safarova return had 15-30.  Game point after some good tennis. 2-3. An untidy game next, but effective for Safarova who held for 4-2.
Hlavackova immediately worried at 0-30.  Safarova aimed one at Peng who successfully defended herself but lost the point and three break points faced Hlavackova.  An ace saved one and a Peng volley another.  Safarova sealed the break with one down the line.  5-2 and Bethanie to serve for the set.

A fine Peng return and 15-15.  Break point after a Safarova net error.  Saved via an error. Second break chance.  Taken and the lead now 5-3.
Peng was 0-40 and three set points down.  One saved with a Hlavackova volley winner, but the set was won with a Safarova forehand winner 6-3.

Safarova served first in the decider and held to lead 1-0.  Peng served and Hlavackova played a great net point for 15-0.  A long rally ended with a Safarova error and 30-15.  Serve held 1-1.
Safarova played a terrific game at the net to assist her partner hold serve and maintain a lead 2-1.  A quick move by Mattek-Sands to hit the winning volley and then a netted forehand by Hlavackova created break point on the Czech serve.  Saved by a Peng volley.  A second break point introduced itself and a double fault arrived straight after to hand a 3-1 lead to Mattek-Sands/Safarova.

A magical crosscourt backhand, hit from several rows into the crowd by Peng, won a point off the Safarova serve and an overhead winner by the same player created break point.  Saved with a service winner.  Peng intercepted and another break point came.  It went.  Bethanie moved too soon and left a gap for the Hlavackova winner.  The third break chance was squashed by a Bethanie volley.
Serve was held and the scoreboard showed 4-1.

Peng served and Mattek-Sands opened with a volley winner.  Hlavackova hit a volley long and 0-30.  Peng hit wide and three break points.  One saved with a Hlavackova volley into Bethanie's legs.  30-40 with a Safarova shot out of court.  Deuce with a Hlavackova volley winner.  A repeat and game point.  Three in a row from Hlavackova for the service hold 2-4.

Bethanie serving and 15-15 following an error from her.  40-15 was brought back to deuce as the nerves kicked in, but the American steadied and held for 5-2.  
A winning backhand from Hlavackova and 30-0.  An ace for a love game and her team was 3-5.
Safarova to serve for the title.

Hlavackova hit wide 15-0.  A slick volley from Mattek-Sands for 30-0.  Another of the same for 40-15 and two championship points.  A third volley winner did it for the game set and title.

Two sets to one 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-3.

This is the fourth Grand Slam Women's Doubles title for the pair, and the second Australian Open following their 2015 success. 

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