Russians claim doubles
Kuznetsova, Zvonareva post three-set win in final
Last Updated: January 27, 2012 11:12am
Kuznetsova (l) and Zvonareva with their Australian Open trophy
Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva won the Australian Open women's doubles title on Friday.
The unseeded Russian duo, who only decided to play in the event at the last minute, came from a set down to beat Italy's Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 5-7 6-4 6-3 on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
In doing so, Kuznetsova, particularly impressive in the closing stages, won her second Australian Open doubles title - her first having come back in 2005 when she partnered Alicia Molik to victory.
After all four players held serve early on, a run of seven successive breaks followed. The last of those saw Zvonareva drop her own delivery and when singles quarter-finalist Errani held in the following game, the Italian moved ahead.
The Russians began their fightback by breaking at the start of the second set. They failed to serve out at 5-3 but duly broke again in the following game to level the match.
Their momentum continued in the decider as they broke Errani's serve and established a 3-0 lead, one they refused to surrender.
When Kuznetsova served for the match at 5-3 she had to face no fewer than five break points.
However, she produced some fine shots in the rallies to stave them off and complete the victory.
Like her partner, Zvonareva was also winning her second Grand Slam doubles title. She won the 2004 US Open title.
Following their success, an appearance at this summer's Olympics has been mooted.
Asked about the possibility of continuing their partnership, Zvonareva said: "When we signed in to play doubles here, we weren't thinking about it.
"If we get chosen for doubles, we get chosen. It's a very tough competition in our country and we just have to play it by the ear.
"We are not rushing into making any decisions at the moment."