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First-Time Duo Hsieh/Strycova Triumph

Women's Doubles Champions

Saturday, March 17, 2018 - BNP Paribas Open Women's Doubles Champions Barbora Strycova & Su-Wei Hsieh at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)

by Melissa Isaacson

Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova might want to consider a more permanent arrangement.

Teaming up for the first time, the veteran pair claimed the BNP Paribas Open doubles title Saturday, upending 2013 champs, three-time Grand Slam winners and Olympic gold medalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, 6-4, 6-4.

The two veterans, who defeated the top three seeded teams en route to the title, take home a combined $439,350 with the win.

“We got together, like, 10 minutes to 12:00 before the sign-in because we didn’t know if we could get in,” Strycova explained. “[Hseih] was supposed to be with Monica [Niculescu] here and me with Andrea [Hlavackova], but there was some rule changes. We couldn’t switch. So we said, ‘OK, we will play together and they will play together.’ So this is how we ended up.”

Hsieh now has 20 doubles titles, including two Grand Slams and one in the WTA Finals, and won in Indian Wells in 2014 with Peng Shuai. Strycova, now has a tour-high 21 doubles titles, and had been playing with Lucie Safarova.

The No. 1 seeded team, who had not dropped a set coming into the finals, had 11 previous titles together. But this was a day for a couple of friends who have known each other since juniors.

“In doubles, what’s most important is you enjoy the game …,” Strycova said. “If you give positive energy and like Su-Wei said, if you just enjoy and don’t put so much pressure but you go for it, it can happen, good things. And it happened.”

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