Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-Wei were crowned women’s doubles champions at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open. In the day’s first match in the Manolo Santana Stadium, the team formed by Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu won 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour of play.
It was a high-calibre tie that brought together two of the most successful duos on the WTA Tour, ranked numbers 5 and 6 in the world. They had only met once previously (semi-finals at Indian Wells 2018) and experience in WTA Premier Mandatory events seemed to effect the outcome.
Still lacking a title this season, Dabrowski and Xu came flying out of the blocks, each wielding their own particular weapon; the Canadian relied on her power while the Chinese player wowed the fans with her exquisite net skills. However, their nerves took a while to settle, perhaps as a result of their lack of big-game experience. Strycova’s ability at the net was enough to break down the number 6 team’s strategy and earn them two breaks (4-1) in what seemed like no time at all.
The Asian-Canadian duo tried to claw something back and managed to recover one of the breaks they had lost, but Hsieh dashed their hopes of turning the set around with two spectacular passes in the ninth game to take their first step towards the title.
It was a similar story in the second set. Hsieh and Strycova kept their feet firmly on the gas, pouncing on their opponents’ frequent mistakes. An early break of Dabrowski, the best server of the four, was almost enough to wrap the tie up. While the world number 5 pair were already reeling, such an emphatic start to the set made sure they would never find their feet again. In the end it was a convincing 6-1 and a second title of the season for Strycova and Su-Wei, after the one they won in Dubai, they now have 41 between them.