Dubai Duty Free Tennis: Golden girl Kudermetova wins back-to-back doubles titles in Dubai

It was a second straight Dubai doubles title for Kudermetova, who had won last year in the company of Elise Mertens

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova during their doubles final match. — Photo by M. Sajjad
Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova during their doubles final match. — Photo by M. Sajjad

Published: Sat 25 Feb 2023, 8:52 PM

Twelve months after winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships doubles title and being surprised by the UAE Government with a Golden Visa, Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova returned with a new partner, Liudmila Samsonova, to win it for a second time.

Having closed out 2022 with a No 2 ranking in women’s doubles, the 25-year-old Moscow native found a willing ally in Samsonova, one year her junior, to deny the Taiwanese pairing of Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 10-1.

Then in a show of sportsmanship Kudermetova led the praise for her opponents, who fought back after losing the first set, to courageously draw level.

“I think the best part about them was that they were there every point, every moment,” she said. “We were feeling this. They're really good.

“But I think we believe more in ourselves and we played more aggressively than our opponents. I think today we also served better than our opponents.”

Asked to describe the emotions that they were feeling, Samsonova said: “For me it's the first time, so what I can say? It's crazy maybe (smiling). I just started to play with Veronika this year. We had some amazing results during the Fed Cup. But it's amazing what we did today. So proud of us.”

Doubles is always fun to watch and perhaps even fun to play but Kudermetova did not totally agree.

“Yes we had fun, but we were nervous as well,” said Kudermetova who was a losing doubles finalist at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.

“Look at the second set. It was a lot of up and downs. But we managed to win this final. We are so happy. We played a super tiebreak. It was amazing, without making any mistakes. We had aces. winners. We're so happy about this trophy.”

The Russian doubles specialist also thanked the crowd for their support.

“A lot of fans from our country were there to support us and we could feel it. We will miss that atmosphere. I mean, it's really helped us. We're so happy to feel a lot of people today cheering for us.”

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