Tennis: Pe'er wins Stanford doubles title with Mirza

Will face her in the first round of the Acura Classic at San Diego on Tuesday.

peer 88 (photo credit: )
peer 88
(photo credit: )
Shahar Pe'er will face Sania Mirza in the first round of the Acura Classic at San Diego on Tuesday, a mere two days after claiming the doubles title with her Indian friend at the Bank of West Classic at Stanford, California. The Jewish/Muslim duo defeated Anna Chakvetadze and Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-6 (5) late Sunday night, claiming their first title as doubles partners. "The main thing is that we work really well together," Pe'er said after the match. "If one of us is down, the other brings them up. We have a good time playing together." Pe'er, who won the doubles tournament at Stanford last year with German Anna-Lena Groenefeld, won her only other doubles final at Prague in 2006. "We played well and volleyed well," Mirza said. "Even though I was tired, Shahar was fresh and as a team we played really well." The doubles final was Mirza's second match of the day, with the Indian losing 6-3, 6-4 to Chakvetadze in the singles title match. Pe'er and Mirza fell behind early in the final, but broke back immediately and tied the score (2-2). The team broke once again in the ninth game and clinched the set in the following game by holding serve. The second set was decided in a tiebreak after the teams split the first 12 games. Pe'er and Mirza, who missed a match point in the 10th game, were two points away from losing the set after Chakvetadze and Azarenka opened a 5-2 lead in the breaker. However, the Israel/Indian duo reeled off five straight points and wrapped up the victory. Earlier in the day, Chakvetadze won her second consecutive tournament, making quick work of surprise finalist Mirza. "I'm pleased with the way I played and happy I won," Chakvetadze said. "I didn't serve that well the whole week but I played well. I had to concentrate more on every point." The Russian improved to 6-0 in tournament finals and will rise to No. 6 in the world rankings. The unseeded Mirza will return to her previous career high of No. 31 when the new rankings come out. "It means a lot," said Chakvetadze, the top seed. "It means I know I can do it and that I have to work harder to get [to the top five] and be more consistent." Mirza's goal is becoming clearer. "I've always said I could be top 20 and I believe in that," she said. "I thought maybe by the end of next season, but who knows? Maybe it will happen this year. I believe in setting realistic, practical goals." Both players went three sets in winning semifinals Saturday before playing doubles competition. "I have to say I'm a little tired," said Chakvetadze, who earned $88,265 for the victory. "I wasn't feeling that great to run around for three sets so I told myself to finish it fast." Chakvetadze has won nine straight matches, and 20 of 22 overall. Her only losses since the beginning of May have been in the French Open and Wimbledon . Mirza said she had a great week despite losing in the final. "I learned I can play good tennis the whole week," said Mirza, who had a large following at the match. "Physically I couldn't take it like she can." She said Chakvetadze just wore her down. "In the first set I was there for the most part and I had a couple of chances to come back," she said. "After I lost the first set she dominated. She comes up with her best in the finals. "I wasn't feeling it as well as I have this week. I wasn't hitting the ball as cleanly." AP contributed to this report.