STANFORD, Calif. (www.mubadalasvc.com) – After grinding through three straight hard-fought matches to open the tourney, Marina Erakovic and Heather Watson finally managed to put away an opposing duo in straight sets.
Although, it was close.
Erakovic and Watson outlasted the top-seeded tandem of Jarmila Gajdosova and Vania King 7-5, 7-6 (7) on Sunday afternoon, claiming the doubles championship at the Bank of the West Classic.
Knocking off all three top seeds en route to the title, Erakovic and Watson claimed their first title together. It was the first career doubles title for Watson and sixth for Erakovic.
The path to the title match for Erakovic and Watson was not easy. Unseeded in the main draw, the duo won each of their first three matches courtesy of the super-tiebreaker. After winning their first-round match 6-3, 3-6, 10-5, Erakovic and Watson upset the No. 2 seeded duo of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 7-6 (9), 2-6, 10-4 in the quarterfinals and the No. 3 seeded pairing of Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova 7-5, 6-7 (6), 10-7 in the semifinals.
On Sunday, Erakovic and Watson claimed the first set 7-5. Tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4, Gajdosova and King moved ahead 5-4 on a service break. However, Erakovic and Watson stormed ahead to win three games in a row and close out the set.
In the second set, Gajdosova and King went in front 2-0 before Erakovic and Watson rallied to win three straight games. Tied at 3-3, Erakovic and Watson extended their lead to 5-3 and appeared to be on the verge of closing out the set. However, Gajdosova and King tied the match at 5-5 before the squads traded games to tie the frame at 6-6.
In the tiebreaker, Erakovic and Watson trailed 6-4 before ripping off three straight points for a 7-6 lead. Tied at 7-7, Erakovic and Watson won the final two points to secure the title.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is one of the oldest women-only professional tennis tournaments in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. A WTA Premier event, the Bank of the West Classic features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $740,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams. The Bank of the West Classic is owned and operated by IMG.
ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST: Founded in 1874, $62.4 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.
ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.