Doha, Qatar: Hsieh Su Wei and Barbora Strycova earned a milestone victory in more ways than one on Friday at the Qatar Total Open.
The top-seeded pair beat former champions and No.6 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Jelena Ostapenko in the championship match, 6-2, 5-7, 10-2, to seal their third title of the season and a piece of recent WTA history.
With the victory, Hsieh and Strycova become just the second doubles team to sweep the WTA events in the Middle East by winning Doha and Dubai in the same year. Americans Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber also swept the Middle East in 2012, in a year in which they won five titles and reached eight finals.
In addition, the victory will propel Hsieh back to the top of the WTA doubles rankings, as she'll supplant Kristina Mladenovic in the top spot on Monday for her ninth career week as World No.1.
A nine-game run for the top seeds from a 2-0 deficit in the first set look as though it would be the defining moment in the match, as Hsieh and Strycova jumped to a 6-2, 3-0 lead in little more than a half hour.
However, Dabrowski and Ostapenko - who boasted an undefeated, 9-0 record in Doha entering the match by virtue of a win in 2018 and their run this week - stormed back after getting on the board on a winner-take-all deuce point in the fourth game.
The No.6 seeds won five of the next six games from 3-0 down - and could've made it six straight, had Hsieh and Strycova not escaped in a fifth game in which they saved three break points - to earn Ostapenko an opportunity to serve for the second set.
Though the Latvian dropped serve courtesy of a double fault and a forehand error from 30-30, the former champions made no mistake the second time around, and sent the match to a tiebreak via Dabrowski's serve.
However, Hsieh and Strycova would not be denied and an emphatic start to the decider helped them cruise to victory, as they won the first six points and never looked back.