PARIS - For the fourth time in the last six years, Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez are doubles champions at Roland Garros. Perhaps one of the game's all-time great duos, Ruano Pasucal and Suarez captured their second straight title in Paris on Sunday, defeating No.2 seeds Carla Black and Liezel Huber, 46 63 63.
After many years of matches together, Ruano Pascual and Suarez were able to adjust their game plan after dropping the first set, taking advantage of their opponents weaknesses to comeback for the win.
"In the second set, they made errors they were not doing before," Suarez said. "They were serving very well, both of them. At that moment, I think they became a bit nervous. It was 3-2. We were breaking. It was 3-3, I won my serve. The matched turned for us. They started losing their precision, they had trouble returning our serves and they were seeing the match was escaping them."
The sixth straight final by Ruano Pascual and Suarez matched the efforts of another successful tandem, Gigi Fernadez and Natasha Zvereva, who reached the final in Paris six straight times between 1992 and 1997, winning the title every year except 1996.
"It's an immense joy," Suarez said. "I am rewarded for all the sacrifices I made through my whole career. What we did together, me and Virginia, we practiced a lot. We did everything together, apart also. I am so happy to play with a friend even more than with someone else. Maybe I would be happy with someone else, but it would not be the same."
The duo was also playing in their 13th Grand Slam final together, winning their eighth title as a team in Grand Slam action. They also hold the second-longest streak of consecutive major doubles finals reached with nine, just two behind the record of 11 that is held by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver.
"I believe we've been playing together for a very long time, that's the key," Ruano Pascual said. "In fact, we are a very particular pair. We know each other very well. We know exactly what the other one is going to do at each moment."
Black and Huber were playing in their first Grand Slam doubles final together in only their second time teaming up at a major. The duo was looking to become the first African winners of the Roland Garros women's doubles since Rosalyn Fairbank won in 1983 with American Candy Reynolds.
This year was the fourth consecutive year at Roland Garros that the Top 2 seeds have met in the women's doubles title. It was also the second time that Ruano Pascual and Suarez have faced Black and Huber in action. The top-ranked duo defeated Black and Huber in a third-set tie-break in the semifinals at Zurich in 2003.