Second seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova bounced back from a loss in their last round-robin match, producing an out-of-this-world performance to oust eighth seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs 6-1, 6-2 within just 55 minutes of play to reach the final of the 2019 WTA Finals Shenzhen.
Playing together for the first time this year, reigning Wimbledon champions Hsieh and Strycova are into the final of the prestigious year-end championships on their debut, overpowering and outsmarting their opponents to dominate the encounter.
The match started later than expected at 11 pm local time, but Hsieh and Strycova certainly looked to be in a rush and continued their pursuit for the biggest paycheck in the doubles competition of tennis.
Groenefeld and Schuurs had a tournament to remember, after stunning top seeds Mertens and Sabalenka before defeating the Chan sisters to reach the semifinals on their debut as a pair as well. Making five WTA finals this year but not winning any, it could be considered a solid season with some bad luck.
Groenefeld and Schuurs struggled on their serves throughout the match, holding serve just once in the 55-minute affair. They were broken on seven occasions, winning just 46 per cent of first serves and defending just one of their 10 second serve points.
On the other hand, Hsieh and Strycova won 61 per cent of their first serves and lost just four points behind their second deliveries to book their spots in the final. They will face the defending champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic there. Strycova had already confirmed her year-end number one ranking with her run to the final.
Hsieh and Strycova roll to a comfortable victory
Hsieh and Strycova started the match with a break and managed to consolidate their advantage after fending off three break chances in the following game. Groenefeld looked the most vulnerable of the four players on the court, with the most shots targeted at the German.
Even with Schuurs' excellence at the net, the eighth seeds were unable to stop the rout as they could not handle the consistent aggression from their opponents, conceding the opening set 1-6 without holding serve.
Things got interesting when Groenefeld slammed down a love service hold, but Hsieh and Strycova were still able to surge out to an early 3-1 lead in the second set. A stunning backhand return winner from Schuurs got them back on level terms, but that was the last thing worth cheering for, as the team soon went down 1-6, 2-6 after just 55 minutes of play.