The 31th of october we leave the country again. Aniek van Koot and I travel to Mission Viejo (California) for the last big doubles tournament of the year. We play the Uniqlo Doubles Masters and only the best six women team compete in this event. We have three days to train before the event starts, to get used to the time difference and playing outdoors again. And we are very lucky to have some time to visit the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica and Laguna as well. (Look at the pictures on my Instagram, it’s so gorgeous @jiskegriffioen) What a great place to play a tournament!
On the 3rd of november the tournament starts. We are placed in poule B together with the team Kaiser/Verfeurth and another Dutch team Buis/Spaanstra. We play Kaiser/Verfeurth on the first day, and it’s a comfortable win 6-0 6-2. The next day we have a day off, so we see Buis/Spaanstra beating the American team as well. The last round robin match will decide who ends as group winner. It is a long battle. We win the first set 6-3. After that we don’t make enough pressure and we play more passively. Our opponents use that and get back into the match taking the 2nd set 3-6. In the 3rd set we start to play with more initiative. And it pays off, as we take the 3rd set 6-2.
As winner of our group we face the number two of group A, Shuker/Ellerbrock in the semifinal. We keep the level of the last set the day before and play a good match winning it 6-2 6-2.
In the final we face Kamiji/Whiley. We both won two of the slams this year, so it’s almost certain it’s going to be a close match once again. In the first set we face 3-1 down, but the we start to play better, making less mistakes. But at 4-5 down we have to face setpoints for our opponents. Winning those points gives us some confidence and we fight for a tiebreaker to decide the first set. A double fault of Kamiji on setpoint, gives us the first set.
In the second set we put more and more pressure on our opponents and we race to a 5-2 lead. But then the momentum switches. Aniek loses her servicegame and Whiley gets an easy hold on her servicegame. At 5-4 I have to serve for the match. The game is tight and the rally’s get longer. Nobody really wants to take initiative at this point. But we battle and fight to win this last game, winning the set 6-4. What a great feeling to win our second masters title together. Thanks Aniek for another great year in doubles. We won big titles and had to face some dissapointments as well. But that’s tennis! That’s what makes this last title of the year and claiming the top position of the doubles ranking so beautiful!