Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis began their quest for a 10th WTA title together this year after they earned the perfect start to the 2017 WTA Finals, clinching an excellent victory over sixth seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke in straight sets, triumphing with a 6-3, 6-2 scoreline. It was later found out that this would be the last ever tournament of Hingis’ legendary career, and she will leave professional tennis as the world number one in doubles.
Tight start to the match
Early nerves saw Chan throwing in a double-fault and got herself trailing 0-30 in the opening game, but some baseline prowess from the Taiwanese allowed Hingis and her to take the tight service hold. Groenefeld’s powerful first serves were enough for Peschke to follow them up at the net as they followed suit with a comfortable hold, before earning their first break point in the third game. Being weaker at the baseline, Hingis was often being overpowered but Chan’s amazing hands at the net saved them from the brink and allowed them to remain on serve.
Chan and Hingis recover from early break to grab the first set
Peschke’s vulnerable serves caused them to concede four break point opportunities, but ironically it was also the Czech’s good sliced second serves which helped them to escape from trouble at times, holding on for 2-2. Surprisingly, it was the underdogs who made the first breakthrough with Hingis making an abundance of unforced errors.
The top seeds fended off three game points before breaking straight back, and that proved to be the pivotal moment of the match as Chan and Hingis went on to claim 10 of the next 12 games. The Taiwanese-Swiss pairing, ranked number one in the world currently, took four consecutive games within a blink of an eye to come out of nowhere to clinch the first set 6-3.
Groenefeld and Peschke fails to find their rhythm on serve
The momentum from the first set seemed to have allowed Chan and Hingis to have a comfortable start to the second set, breaking serve immediately in the opening game. However, a fantastic return winner from Peschke saw Groenefeld and her break straight back to level the scores, hoping to send the match into a deciding set. Holding serve seemed to be a major issue for Groenefeld and Peschke, who failed to consolidate the break as they trailed by a large deficit once again.
The top-ranked pairing seals the win and enters the semifinals
Chan and Hingis soon powered themselves to a commanding 3-1 lead before breaking serve for the fifth time in the match to lead comfortably. Everything was going right for them especially with Chan performing well at the net while Hingis was solid like a wall at the baseline, with Groenefeld and Peschke being unable to do anything with it. Serving to stay in the match at 1-5 down, the German-Czech pairing showed some great fight but a comeback seemed too late to produce as Chan and Hingis eventually sealed the good win after an hour and 17 minutes of play.