SCHUURS/MELICHAR CHARLESTON DOUBLES CHAMPS

SCHUURS/MELICHAR CHARLESTON DOUBLES CHAMPS

TOP SEEDS ROLL PAST BOUZKOVA/HRADECKÁ, 6-2, 6-4, AT LTP DANIEL ISLAND TENNIS CENTER

Demi Schuurs and Nicole Melichar sure have made the most of a difficult year. In February, amidst quarantines and lockdowns, the Dutch-American pairing reached the semifinals in Melbourne at both the Yarra Valley Classic and the Australian Open. In March, they captured the title at the Qatar Total Open 2021 in Doha.

Now the top seeds are Volvo Car Open doubles champions, 6-2, 6-4 winners over the Czech duo of Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecká on the green clay of the LTP Daniel Island Tennis Center. It marks their third WTA title together.

They’re getting pretty good at those post-match victory dances.

“Every time we win a title, it’s really exciting for us,” said Melichar. “To transition from the hard to clay and win right away in your first week, I think that’s incredible. We both kept each other up this whole week. Sometimes I was playing well, sometimes Demi was playing well, but we had to bring each other up. Our communication, our support was key.”

Schuurs and Melichar knew they would have their work cut out for them in Sunday’s final, especially going up against Hradecká, a Charleston finalist in 2017 with countrywoman Katerina Siniakova. Hradecká owns 22 career WTA doubles titles, including Roland Garros in 2011 and the US Open in 2013, partnering on both occasions with fellow Czech Andrea Hlaváčkov.

“Lucie is such a champion. Her statistics speak for themselves, winning so many titles and Fed Cups,” said Melichar. “You always know you have to play a really good match to beat her. She has a lot of power and she understands the court, she understands the game. She was guiding Marie on the court, and I think she taught her more doubles skills this week as well. We have a lot of respect for her, and we’re just happy we could be a little bit better today.”

Bouzkova was also in the Volvo Car Open singles draw, where the 17thseed reached the second round (l. to Ajla Tomljanovic, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5).

En route to the title match, Schuurs/Melichar defeated Ellen Perez/CoCo Vandeweghe, 3-6, 6-1, 10-4; Ons Jabeur/Anastasia Potapova, 6-3, 6-2; and Gabriela Dabrowski/Asia Muhammad, 7-5, 6-1. For their efforts, they were each awarded a brand new Volvo of their choice.