Danilina, Kuzmova clinch doubles crown at Al Habtoor


Top-seeded pairing fight from a set down to win first title as a pairing

Anna Danilina and Viktoria Kuzmova lived up to their top billing as the first-seeded pair fought from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 10-2 against Angelina Gabueva and Anastasia Zakharova to claim the doubles crown at the 24th Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge that concluded at the Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa, on Saturday.

Struggling to find their rhythm at the onset, Danilina and Kuzmova did well to register a single break in the second game of the second set to draw level.

In the deciding super tie-breaker, the Kazkh and Slovak pair raced to a 7-0 lead to then wrap things up 10-2 for their first first doubles title together as a pairing.

“I think we were both quite focused on playing our best tennis out there despite losing that first set,” Kuzmova said.

“The idea was to continue doing all the right things while not paying too much attention to the negatives. We kept telling each other that we needed to continue our focus and we would be able to clean up our game. And that’s exactly what happened with patience,” added the 23-year-old whose best was a singles runner-up spot here in 2018.

Kuzmova will next head home before heading for the Czech Republic for one more tournament prior to taking a break during Christmas.

“The idea is to get the points so that I can make the qualifiers at the Australian Open as a seed,” Kuzmova related.

“I am quite pleased with the way my game has been shaping up. The idea now is to stay focused and keep this rhythm going,” she added.

On the other hand, this tournament was the last one this year for the 26-year-old Moscow-born Danilina, who plans to stay on in Dubai and start her pre-season.

“There have been a few things that I have done well here this week, and now it will be time to take a short break to rest and then start preparing for the next year,” Danilina said.

Result (Doubles): Anna Danilina/Viktoria Kuzmova bt Angelina Gabueva/Anastasia Zakharova 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (2).

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