Melbourne - The unseeded pairing of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech
Lucie Safarova won the Australian Open women's doubles title on Friday,
their first Grand Slam success.
The two were playing together in Melbourne for the first time and
clicked immediately, downing the 14th seeded Zheng Jie of China and
Taiwan's Chan Yung-Jan 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).
"I mean, our name is carved on this trophy. It's pretty cool," said a
delighted Mattek-Sands, who slipped to 258 in the singles rankings
after injuring her hip last year.
"This trophy at least started in 1922, I think. It's got a lot of great names on there. We get to add ours now."
They beat five seeds to clinch the title and in doing so became the
first unseeded women's duo to claim the Australian crown since Svetlana
Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva in 2012.
They were also the first new pairing to win a women's Grand Slam
title since Dinara Safina and Nathalie Dechy at the US Open in 2007.
Safarova said they got together after her coach and Mattek-Sands' husband, who are good friends, suggested they give it a go.
They had no doubles practice together before they went on court for
their first round match, but clicked with good communication the key to
their successful partnership.
"It's hard to describe the feelings. It's like such a huge happiness,
because to be a Grand Slam champion, it's just the best that you can
have," said the Czech.
"I really enjoyed the whole two weeks. It's a boost of confidence for
future doubles and singles. I think we played amazing matches here."