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joyful rogger fedder

Monday, July 6, 2009

Navratilova/Sukova take doubles trophy

Photo Titled Navratilova and Sukova victorious
Navratilova and Sukova victorious.

Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova beat Ilana Kloss and Rosalyn Nideffer in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in an enthralling and entertaining final of the Ladies’ Invitation Doubles competition.

Coming into the final, both pairs were unbeaten in the preceding round robin contest, with three victories each. Between them they had got the better of Annabel Croft, Samantha Smith, Gretchen Magers, Conchita Martinez, Jana Novotna, Andrea Temesvari, Tracy Austin, Kathy Rinalldi-Stunkel, Jo Durie, Hana Mandlikova, Zina Garrison and Liz Smylie, almost all of whom, at one time, have been winners or runners-up in the main doubles draw.

The Czech-born pair took an early lead of 3-0, but were then temporarily held back. The matchplay may not have had all the power of the main ladies' draw, but it had finesse, exquisite angles and skilful placing of shots.

The result rather masked the closely fought nature of the final, although Navratilova’s reputation and doubles experience were undoubtedly an advantage for the pair. All four players played precise ground strokes but the Navratilova/Sukova pair made better use of the lob, which helped drive them into the lead.

Players' reactions were razor-sharp and there were many delightful net rallies. In the end though, Navratilova and Sukova had greater success with the angles, spin and slice.

In the second set, their greater pressure on Kloss and Nideffer gave them the break of serve in the critical seventh game. A quick running poach by Navratilova that split the T, followed by a great serve from Sukova, gave the pair an unassailable lead. The match took a too-short 55 minutes.

Court 3 - Ladies' Invitation Doubles
Ilana Kloss RSA /
Rosalyn Nideffer USA
Martina Navratilova USA /
Helena Sukova CZE

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