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Krejcikova-Saisai Zheng still have the spark

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on February 21, 2020 | Last updated on February 21, 2020 at 10.05 pm
Krejcikova, Saisai, Zheng, czech, republic, dubai duty free, tennis


A tennis partnership is all about forming a strong bond and knowing one another quite well.

It has been a while but Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova and Chinese Saisai Zheng showed they still had that spark together.

A tennis partnership is all about forming a strong bond and knowing one another quite well. And the Czech-Chinese pair displayed those qualities to breeze into the doubles final of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday night.

The duo, seeded fifth here, made short work of unseeded American pair Desirae Krawczyk and Alison Riske 6-2, 6-2 in 63 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.

The pair, who joined forces after a gap of close to three years, will take on top seeds Sui-Wei Hsieh and Barbora Strycova, in the title tilt on Saturday.

Hsieh and Strycova beat fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Shuai Zhang of China 7-5, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

Krejcikova and Zheng had previously reached the quarterfinals in Rome in 2017. But they worked in perfect tandem to overshadow Krawczyk and Riske.
Krejcikova and Zheng broke their American opponents twice in each set and won four of the five deciding points to clinch the match.

The pair had previous faced each other when Krejcikova and her then regular partner Katerina Siniakova had defeated Zheng and Duan Yingying to win the Shenzhen crown earlier in January.

"We played really smart, we had good communication on court and on the deciding points we played a little better," said Krejcikova.

The match began with Krejcikova breezing past both her service games to love. Krejcikova, who defended her mixed doubles title at the Australian Open with Croatia's Nikola Mektic after having won it the previous year with American Rajiv Ram, was dominant along with Zheng. Krejcikova conjured some brilliant volleys to fox her opponents.

Meanwhile, Krawczyk failed to find her bearings and committed a strew of errors at the end of the first set and the beginning of the second set.

Krawczyk fired a smash over the baseline on the deciding point of Riske's next service game and she then sprayed another in the first game of the second set.

The errors caught up with Riske too with her committing four double faults that saw her lose her service twice in the second set. Her third double fault saw them down break point at 1-3.

Zheng, meanwhile, grew in stature as the match wore on and came up with some fine shots.

Zheng, who finished runners-up in the doubles at the French Open created some fine angles as well as she broke Riske to go 4-1.

Zheng and Krejcikova worked perfectly to cruise past their opponents.

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