Hingis Three-peats as Wuhan Open Doubles Champion with Chan


The doubles final at the Wuhan Open 2017 pitted #1 seeds Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan against unseeded Zhaoxuan Yang and Shuko Aoyama. Hingis came in looking for her third Wuhan Open title, having won twice previously with different partners - in 2014 with Italy's Flavia Panetta and in 2015 with India's Sania Mirza. This year, Hingis began partnering Chan following the Australian Open and the pair have been the winningest on tour, taking 7 prestigious titles in 2017 including the US Open. Hingis / Chan came into Wuhan for a combined #5 ranking compared to just #77 for the new pairing of Yang / Aoyama who won the Tokyo International tournament together earlier this month. 

Despite the difference in rankings, it would be the Chinese-Japanese team who came out the more aggressive, breaking Chan twice on the basis of powerful groundstrokes from Yang and aggressive poaching from Aoyama. Hingis / Chan pulled even, taking advantage of some weak serving by the diminutive 1.54 m Japanese player. At 5-5, Yang / Aoyama broke the Hingis serve for the first time on the basis of a gorgeous lob by Yang and a backhand error by Hingis who could not summon her trademark consistency early, often hitting lobs short or sending backhands over the baseline. Serving for the set, Aoyama's powder-puff serve was again broken, this time at love, sending the set into a tie-break which Hingis / Chan edged out 7-5.

Patterns continued in the second, with Yang solid on serve while the other three players were broken. That would be enough for Yang / Aoyama to take the set, 6-3, to decide the title with a champion's tie-break. 

In the tie-break, Hingis / Chan came out with a surprise strategy, hitting high loopers to Yang at the baseline, well out of reach of the energetic Aoyama at net. The Beijing native was pushed deep, allowing Hingis / Chan to eventually pick off winners at net on the way to a 6-2 lead. The more experienced pair proved too consistent in the final stretch, winning the 2017 Wuhan Open, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 10-4. With the win, Hingis takes over the #1 spot atop the doubles ranking with Chan at a new career high of #2.