Russian veterans Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva have won the Australian Open womens doubles final. Picture: AFP Source: Herald Sun
A Last-minute decision to play together led to Russian veterans Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva winning the Australian Open women’s doubles championship.
The unseeded Russians beat experienced Italian pair Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 5-7 6-4 6-3 in Friday’s final to claim their first title as a partnership.
The winners are both better known for their singles accomplishments, Kuznetsova having French and US Open singles trophies, while both she and Zvonareva have been as high as No.2 in the world individually.
Both said singles had again been their focus at Melbourne Park, but they decided the night before entries closed to enter the doubles, without any serious designs on winning the event.
“It’s not our main focus,” Zvonareva said.
“It makes it easier because we are going to play doubles to enjoy, maybe to practise a few things, and that’s nice.”
Despite their triumph, Zvonareva, who is the singles world No.7, said that focus was unlikely to change.
“You know, if we’re fit enough to compete in singles and doubles, I’m sure we would like to do it,” she said.
“But we won’t sacrifice our singles to play doubles.”
Both had won grand slam doubles trophies before with other partners.
It was Kuznetsova’s second Australian Open doubles title, her previous triumph coming in 2005 in partnership with Alicia Molik.
She used her victory speech to wish the Australian, who recently became a mother, a happy 31st birthday.
Zvonareva won the 2006 US Open with Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy.
Source Sam Lienert, AAP