BEIJING, China - No.2 seeds Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova rallied to win their second title of the season at the China Open on Sunday, as they came from a set down to defeat No.3 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yi-fan, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Both teams confirmed their places in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global based on their results over the course of the past fortnight, but it was the Czech pairing that finally claimed glory this Asian swing at the Premier Mandatory event.
The Czechs previously finished runner-up at last week's Premier 5 event in Wuhan, and at the Premier event in Tokyo to start the swing, but the third time only proved lucky after they rallied from a 5-2 deficit in Sunday's match tiebreak.
"I feel so happy and it was an amazing week - actually, it was an amazing three weeks. This tournament was very tough for us, and the final was hard," Strycova said.
"We both didn't feel amazing on the court today, but we fought and we were there with our heads, mentally. It was really good that we pulled through."
The Czechs saved four break points across two service games in the early action in the opening set, but it was the Canadian and Chinese pairing that came through in the clutch in the set's late stages.
The No.3 seeds rallied to hold in the ninth game from a 15-40 deficit, and later won the opener behind the set's lone break despite trailing 0-40 in the game.
The eventual champions broke to love in the first game of the second set, and rode their lead all the way through to winning it.
"In the second set, we were actually laughing about the situation on court because it definitely wasn't my best match," Sestini Hlavackova added. "We pulled it through because of how we play and how solid we were at the end."
All five of the Czech pair's finals in 2018 have come at Premier level or better, and the victory in Beijing is their biggest title as a duo. They previously triumphed at the Connecticut Open in New Haven prior to the US Open.
Said Sestini Hlavackova: "We were going into this final, the most important and the biggest one of the three, and we were the most relaxed. It was an amazing swing in Asia for us. We were so tough mentally throughout the whole three weeks."
This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.