2017 Doubles Year in Review

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Doubles on both tours is often a hodgepodge of revolving partners and results, but over the past few seasons, both tours seemed to have found a stabilizing rotation of stars as teams like Mirza/Hingis, Mattek-Sands/Safarova, Bryan/Bryan, Mahut/Hughes-Herbert, etc .had routinely found their way to the champions podiums. However, in 2017, the doubles casts and successes on both tours went through a transition with many new names, and old names in new partnerships, finding success on tour.

WTA Tour

The WTA saw the dissolve of long-time successful partnerships while still having a thread of continuity run throughout the season. After the break up at the end of 2016 of the very successful Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis pairing, Hingis teamed up with successful Taiwanese doubles player Yung-Jan Chan. The powerful backhand of Chan paired well with the court guile, of Hingis and the two were the most dominant team on tour all year. Chan/Hingis won nine titles including Indian Wells, Rome, Madrid, Cincinnati, Wuhan, and the US Open. At the end of the winning season, Hingis announced her retirement from the game and discussed with the WTA Insider how happy she had been playing with Chan.

Both reached #1 in the doubles’ rankings this season, a long time goal for Chan, and she will be looking to find a suitable partner in 2018.

The other major news on the WTA doubles tour this season was the horrific injury to perennially popular Bethanie Mattek Sands at Wimbledon which cost her and partner Lucie Safarova the rest of the season. Arguably the most popular team on tour, the self dubbed Team Bucie, were riding a major wave of success over the past two seasons. In 2017 alone they had won the Australian Open and the French Open, and had become social media stars with gifable moments like the Aussie Open victory dance, their fashion shows, and Team Bucie question and answer sessions. Mattek-Sands and Safarova will look to rebound and continue growing their brand in 2018.

ATP Tour

The ATP Tour saw a range of familiar and new double’s names find success on tour this year, but two teams finally found their footing and rose above the others. Tour veterans, but new partnership Marcelo Melo and Lukas Kubot wrestled with established partners John Peers and Henri Kontinen throughout the year. Melo and Kubot dominated the grass season, including an epic 5 set marathon win over Peers/Kontinen in the semis at Wimbledon, before claiming the crown there.

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