DOHA, Qatar - Nuria Llagostera Vives and María José Martínez Sánchez capped a dream season with the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 doubles title Sunday, beating Cara Black and Liezel Huber in the final.
Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez had pulled off a shock semifinal win over second seeds the Williams sisters on Saturday and continued their giant-killing success Sunday, edging the top-seeded world No.1s in a match tie-break, 76(0) 57 107. Going into the final they were 0-6 against the Zimbabwean-American duo; but with a variety of lobs, passes and clutch serving, they made it seventh time lucky in by far the biggest match of their partnership. Highlights: Doubles Final
"It's the biggest title ever for us. We've been waiting all year for this title and it came!" Llagostera Vives said. "We have played against them so many times and always lost - very tight matches, but we always lost. Today we didn't want to leave the court without winning! It was an unbelievable crowd there today, there was a Spanish group there who have supported us so much here." Features: Closing Ceremony
It was the Spanish duo's seventh Sony Ericsson WTA Tour doubles title of the year and the eighth of their partnership.
Black and Huber were going for their third straight title at the Sony Ericsson Championships, having won it in Madrid in 2007 and here in Doha last year. They still finished as the year-end No.1 doubles players, though, no small feat.
"The outcome was definitely not what we wanted today, but it would have been a bonus had we won. Our goal was to end the year as the No.1 doubles team in the world," Huber said. "Having said that, we're competitive and we wanted to win. I have big respect for our opponents today, if you look at our results in the past they've been tough matches, they deserve it through and through. If someone has to beat us, then I want it to be them. This year hasn't been all we would have liked, we would have liked more titles, but we're not going to complain about being the No.1 doubles team in the world."
"They are the best team in the world for some years already. They work so hard, they are a very good team," Llagostera Vives said. "We want to congratulate them for all the seasons they've had as No.1. We've really learnt a lot from them, watching them and playing against them, and today it worked for us!"
Llagostera Vives and Martínez Sánchez are the first Spanish duo ever to win the season-ending event. Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and Virginia Ruano Pascual have won it before but with non-Spanish partners.