Sports

Olympic champs win doubles title

Russian Olympic champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina beat US Open winners Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova 7-5 (7-5) 6-3 in the doubles finals of the WTA Finals yesterday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

After the start was delayed by 30 minutes due to a lighting problem, Makarova and Vesnina began the first set by conceding two games. 
But they fought back in a closely contested encounter which saw 14 break points and three match points.

Each time they pulled ahead, Mattek-Sands and Safarova caught up quickly.

But Makarova and Vesnina dug deep to take the first set on a tie break.

They went on to dictate the second set and secured victory after a service error by Mattek-Sands.

Their victory in the season-ending tournament, open only to the top eight doubles pairs, rounded off a remarkable year in which they reached the finals of the French Open and won gold at the Rio Games.

"This year for us is just amazing," Vesnina said.

"It was such a great match and a real pleasure to play in," she added. "It was really tough until the end, a really close match and we were so happy that we won it."

The pair were presented with the Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy by the legend in person.

Makarova and Vesnina, who have been playing together since 2012, have seven doubles titles as a team, including the US Open in 2014 and the French Open in 2013.

Makarova is left-handed while Vesnina uses her right hand, a feature which the latter described as their winning combination.

"When we're motivated, ready and healthy, we're a very dangerous team," she said. - AFP.

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