WUHAN, China - No.3 seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova reached their third final in four events together at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, defeating No.6 seeds Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3, 7-6(6), and No.2 seeds Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7, back-to-back to book a championship match against No.5 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.
Rained out on Thursday, Mirza and Strycova edged past Babos and Shvedova, who needed to win Wuhan to confirm their place in the WTA Finals, and recovered from a second set wobble to dispatch the Chan sisters to reach the championship match over the reigning US Open winners. Strycova has dealt with an especially busy week, having played two singles matches yesterday on her way to a quarterfinal finish.
"So we are obviously very happy to be in our third final together," Mirza said after the match. "The schedule has been really tough - especially for Barbora - but we are fighting every point and every match and enjoying ourselves playing together."
Mirza and Strycova first paired up en route to a winning week at the Western & Southern Open, and have lost just one match since then, taking the Toray Pan Pacific Open and winning three more matches in Wuhan over two pairs hoping to book their spot at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The World No.1 qualified first for Singapore with former partner Martina Hingis back in May, but the results with Strycova put her new partnership up to No.11 on the Road to Singapore leaderboard; a win in the final over Mattek-Sands and Safarova would bump them up to No.9. Should Mirza qualify with both teams, the doubles threat could earn the right to play with either Strycova or Hingis - with whom she won the title last year.
Mattek-Sands and Safarova had to do double duty on Thursday, winning their second round and quarterfinal rounds in straight sets; the team was equally imperious on Friday against Christina McHale and Peng Shuai, winning, 6-4, 6-3. Playing their first tournament since winning their third Grand Slam title, team "Bucie" are on a nine-match winning streak and are currently in pole position make their second straight appearance in Singapore.