Mattek-Sands and Safarova claim women's doubles title

Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:42am EST
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and her Czech partner Lucie Safarova won their first grand slam women's doubles titles at the Australian Open on Friday with a 6-4 7-6(5) victory over China's Zheng Jie and Taiwan's partner Chan Yung-jan.

The unseeded Mattek-Sands and Safarova beat five seeded pairings to win the title on Rod Laver Arena, the first of the titles to be decided at this year's Australian Open.

It was also the first time the 29-year-old Mattek-Sands and 27-year-old Safarova had played together in a tournament, and they are the first new pairing to win the women's doubles title at Melbourne Park since 2005.

Mattek-Sands won the mixed doubles title at Melbourne Park with Romania's Horia Tecau in 2012.

The victory makes up for a disappointing singles campaign for Safarova, who entered the season opening grand slam as the 16th seed but lost in the first round to Yaroslava Shvedova.

Mattek-Sands made the third round of the singles, losing to third seed Simona Halep.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O'Brien)

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (L) of the U.S. and Lucie Safarova (R) of Czech Republic pose with their trophy after winning their women's doubles final match against Zheng Jie of China and Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato