Second seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova took out the Australian Open women's doubles title on Friday to be crowned Grand Slam champions for a fourth time.
The American-Czech pairing battled past 12th-seeded Andrea Hlavackova, also from the Czech Republic, and China's Peng Shuai 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.
Mattek-Sands and Safarova got the decisive break in the fourth game of the deciding set to go 3-1 up after Hlavackova sent down a double fault.
There was no looking back, with Mattek-Sands clinching the title with a volley as they jumped for joy and then celebrated with a dance routine in front of the trophy.
It was their fourth major title together, and ninth overall, after winning at Melbourne and Roland Garros in 2015 and at the US Open last year.
This win extended the pair's unbeaten record to 12 matches at Melbourne Park — they won the 2015 doubles title, but didn't play together last year because Safarova was ill.
It was the first meeting of the teams in which all four players have won at least two Grand Slam doubles titles.
Hlavackova and Peng, who had not dropped a set on the way to the final, took an early service break and seemed in command of the opening set.
But Mattek-Sands and Safarova were able to retrieve it and the duel headed inevitably to a tiebreak. Hlavackova and Peng surged to the lead and held on to close it out 7-3.
Hlavackova and Peng both lost serve to slump to 0-3 in the second set before breaking Mattek-Sands to get on the scoreboard. It proved to be merely a slight interruption for the American and Safarova as they powered through the second set 6-3 to square the stirring final.
The deciding set swung on Hlavackova's serve in the fourth game. After seemingly being in control, she had to fight off a break point and then double-faulted on the next one for the crucial service break.
Trying to build on a 3-1 lead, Safarova staved off three break points to finally hold serve.
Peng pulled back from 0-40 at 1-4 to hold serve. But when Mattek-Sands held in the next game, the second-seeded pair were in winning position.
In the end, the second seeds were to powerful and sailed through after a convincing performance in the last two sets.
Here's how the duo celebrates their trophy
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2017
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jan 27, 2017 15:09 PM | Updated Date: Jan 27, 2017 15:09 PM