After just their second tournament together, Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka are Premier Mandatory champions.
The unseeded Belgian and Belarusian duo rolled to their first career title as a team at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, defeating reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon champions, and top seeds, Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova, 6-3, 6-2.
Mertens and Sabalenka avenged a third-round Australian Open defeat to the Czechs from January, which was their lone loss as a pair to date, with the win.
“I think that was on our mind, but not really the result,” Mertens said. “We were there as one team, and it came out great.
Yeah, I think…it clicks. [We were] both aggressive on the net. It was a really good match.
“In Australia we still had to figure things out, first time together and already playing three sets against those top seeds. I mean, I really felt there is really potential, us in a doubles team.”