If you don’t follow women’s tennis you might not know who Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears are. Martina Hingis and Daniela Hantuchova sure know who they are. The American doubles team, who are coming fresh off of winning the title at the Bank of the West Classic, defeated Hingis and Hantuchova, 4-6 7-5 10-3. For those that are not aware, that last set is actually what is called a “super tie break.” The first two sets are played normally. But in some tournaments if doubles teams split the first two sets, they basically just play a game to 10 points (must win by at least 2 points) to determine the final “set” winner. I’ve never really been a fan of the super tie break. Just play it out normally. Martina and Daniela might regret a lost opportunity here. They won the first set and then led 3-0 in the second set before collapsing and losing 7 of the next 9 games. They even led 5-4 in the second set and were 2 points away from winning in straight sets. In the end, credit must be given to Raquel and Abigail for continuing to fight. Actually, credit needn’t be given…Abigail and Raquel EARNED their credit. It would have been easy to fold against such a big name in the tennis game like Martina Hingis. In fact, I’ve seen many lesser known players wilt after keeping it close in the first set against a top name player but losing. Over the years, I’ve seen many 7-5 6-1 or 6-4 6-0 or 7-6 6-2, etc type scores with a high ranked player pushed in the first set and then steamrolling in the second. Part of that is sometimes the top player raising their game…but I have seen lower ranked players sort of have the air taken out of their balloon after fighting and losing the first set. Kops-Jones and Spears are doubles champions. They obviously won’t quit. Just as Sloane Stephens, Jamie Hampton and Madison Keys are great Americans to watch in singles, Raquel and Abigail are a team to watch in doubles. Unlike the youngsters in singles, Kops-Jones and Spears are finding renewed life the last 3 or 4 years in doubles as they now enter their 30s. They’ve had a lot of success together since 2009, except in the Majors. That’s the last hurdle. They have the ability to win a Major, in my opinion. Whether they will or not, we shall see.
|doubles – Quarterfinals|
| R KOPS-JONES / A SPEARS (USA/USA) D D HANTUCHOVA / M HINGIS (SVK/SUI)||| 4 – 6 | 7 – 5 | 10 – 3 ||
|C BLACK / M ERAKOVIC (ZIM/NZL) D  L HUBER / N LLAGOSTERA VIVES (USA/ESP)||| 6 – 4 | 3 – 6 | 12 – 10 ||
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
MARTINA HINGIS and DANIELA HANTUCHOVA
RAQUEL KOPS-JONES and ABIGAIL SPEARS