MATTEK-SANDS & SAFAROVA STORM TO WUHAN TITLE, CONFIRM SINGAPORE RETURN

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova are Singapore-bound after brushing aside Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova in an hour to win the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

WUHAN, ChinaBethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova completed a dominant week together with their seventh WTA title, outclassing Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova to win the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

A sparkling performance saw Mattek-Sands and Safarova break six times to wrap up a 6-1, 6-4 victory after a fraction over an hour on court.

The result continues a memorable end to the season for the American-Czech duo, whose success in China follows on from victory at the US Open. This points haul has not only sent both players shooting up the rankings, but more importantly secures them a return to the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

The only wobble came with the finishing line in sight, Safarova surrendering her hitherto faultless serve to offer Strycova the chance to level the second set at 5-5. However, the No.5 seeds nipped the comeback in the bud, swatting away a couple of opportunistic volleys to close out the match.

“I think we had an amazing match today,” Safarova said. “We came out strong from the beginning. We returned great, served great, took their time away. That was the right strategy.”

The tone was set on the very first point of the match, Safarova firing a backhand past Strycova. Sensing an early opportunity, on the following point Mattek-Sands swept an inviting ball past the stranded Czech. They soon had the break and went from strength to strength, finding an answer for every question posed by the No.3 seeds.

“We went over our game plan and we just upped our game. So whether our opponents played well or didn’t play well, we were going to stick to our game,” Mattek-Sands added. “But I think, like Lucie said, we just took away their time and that’s what we did.”

Mattek-Sands and Safarova will hope to replicate this form in Singapore, where they have unfinished business. Last year, their challenge came to a premature conclusion, injury dashing their hopes in the round robin stage.

“It’s just awesome [to qualify]. we’ve been there last year but were a little bit injured and so it wasn’t the greatest performance,” Safarova said.

“But it’s amazing to make it again,” Mattek-Sands added. “Singapore is obviously is the best of the best. We literally just found out right after the match that we qualified so it’s still sinking in.”

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