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Tennis - 19. March 2012.

Red-Hot Huber/Raymond Win Desert Title

Top-seeded Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond kept up their incredible run, winning their fourth straight title and 16th straight match with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 2 seeds Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina in the BNP Paribas Open women's doubles final Saturday night.

“When we step on the court, we feel the team is going to have to play really well to beat us, whatever the circumstances are, whether it’s tough conditions or surface or who are our opponents, they’re really going to have to play well,” said Raymond. “I think we’ve proven that over the past few weeks. Even if they may think we’re down and out, we find a way to win.”

The pair had won titles at Paris, Doha and Dubai coming into Indian Wells. They needed to rally from a set down in their second round match, and were also extended to a Match Tie-breaks in the quarter-finals.

“It definitely hasn’t been flawless and perfect, but the results have been,” said Huber. “When you kind of look back at our run, it’s been unbelievable, but we’ve worked very hard and come close to losing at times, but I think the hard work’s showing right now.”

Huber won the title for the first time at this WTA Premier Event, and marveled at the experience. “I’ve never played on center court before because I’ve never made it out of the beginning rounds,” she admitted. “It’s completely amazing. This is really an amazing tournament. The people are so supportive of doubles. I told the tournament director to put more stands on the outside courts for next year.”

Raymond, meanwhile, lifted the trophy for the seventh time with a fourth different partner. She won her first title in 1994 with Lindsay Davenport. “I love playing here,” she said. “I love the atmosphere. As Liezel said, the fans come out and really support the doubles, and that means so much to us. There’s nothing like playing in front of packed houses and intimate courts.”

 

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