Barbora Strycova, in pursuit for the year-end doubles world number one ranking, boosted her chances of claiming the honour when she partnered Hsieh Su-wei to beat two-time Major champion and fellow counterparts Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in a late-night thriller at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre.
Strycova and Hsieh, with their second consecutive three-set win, have successfully sealed their spot in the semifinals of the WTA Finals and this leaves Krejcikova and Siniakova fighting for the remaining spot against Stosur and Zhang on Thursday.
It was a good match from the second seeds as they overcame a mid-match wobble to triumph 6-2, 1-6, [10-5], hitting 18 winners to just 11 unforced errors. Their all-Czech opponents did not do so badly as well, dominating the second set and hitting the same number of winners although they committed four more errors, which came during the crucial moments and proved costly.
Strycova and Hsieh storm to a three-set victory
It was the second seeds who dominated the early proceedings, surging out to a commanding 4-1 lead within a blink of an eye. Krejcikova and Siniakova were too erratic and were unable to snatch the aggression, often misfiring at times. Hsieh and Strycova played with confidence, attacking the net appropriately and using their variety to grab the upper hand.
Soon enough, Hsieh and Strycova was completely steamrolling over their opponents with Krejcikova and Siniakova having no replies to their opponents’ high-quality play, conceding the opening set 2-6 after just 29 minutes of action.
The second set saw the former French Open and Wimbledon champion coming up with a different approach, snatching six of the seven games to roar back into contention after a surprisingly one-sided second set. Krejcikova and Siniakova dominated the net and started being more aggressive, sending the match into a deciding match tiebreak to determine the winner.
As what they did on Sunday against Stosur and Zhang, Hsieh and Strycova were able to rebound in the match tiebreak and step up their play, being more fired up and dominating the final act, clinching four consecutive points to ensure their progress to the semifinals.