INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA – Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe couldn’t have asked for a more perfect WTA debut to their newly-minted doubles partnership – the Americans rallied back from a set down to claim the doubles title at the BNP Paribas Open by pushing past Julia Goerges and Karolina Pliskova 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.
The German-Czech team claimed the first set in 39 minutes before Mattek-Sands and Vandeweghe – who are testing a partnership ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio – surged back to break in the tenth game for the set and secure Match Tie-break after one hour and 34 minutes.
“[We’re] both looking at Olympics ahead, to Rio, and having an option to play there,” said Mattek-Sands “I think we played really well together, played really well at Fed Cup, and we’re like, ‘Let’s keep it going.’ Pick a tournament.
“Even though we kind of had partners set a little bit, we decided on Indian Wells to see how it went. Obviously it was pretty good. We had a lot of fun. That’s a big thing for me playing doubles is getting along with my partner and having fun. It ultimately helps you do well.”
Mattek-Sands, 30, and Vandeweghe, 24, are the first American team to win the title since Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond defeated Mirza/Vesnina in 2012. This is Mattek-Sands’ 18th doubles title and Vandeweghe’s first.
The title victory vaults Mattek-Sands, a Minnesota native, to a career-high No. 3 in the doubles rankings; Vandeweghe, from New York, will rise to No. 25. The partners will split $336,920 in prize money and 1,000 WTA ranking points.
This was the first time since 2009 that two unseeded teams faced off in the BNP Paribas Open final.
Goerges and Pliskova were playing in their fourth tournament as team. Pliskova also made a deep run in the singles draw, falling to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.
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