INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond extended their win streak to 16 matches and four tournaments on Saturday, cruising past Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina in the final of the BNP Paribas Open, 62 63.
Having swept Premier-level titles at Paris, Doha and Dubai in February, Huber and Raymond kept it going as the top seeds at Indian Wells, surviving some adversity early on - they saved two match points to beat Marina Erakovic and Monica Niculescu in the second round - but finishing strong, crushing Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the semifinals, 61 62, then winning nearly as easily against No.2 seeds Mirza and Vesnina.
"Right now we're just playing well," Raymond said. "When we step on the court we feel the other team is going to have to play really well to beat us, whether or not there are tough conditions. We've proven that over the past few weeks. And even if anyone ever thinks we're down and out, we'll find a way to win."
"If we're ever having a bad moment we try to keep it as short as possible," Huber said. "Like if I've made an error or two errors, I know it's not permanent, just take two minutes, forgive yourself and move on. Just think of the next game.
"Our run has been unbelievable - we've come close to losing at times, but we've worked very hard, and the hard work has been showing in our great results."
Raymond has now won the Indian Wells doubles title seven times, and with four different partners (three times with Lindsay Davenport, twice with Samantha Stosur and once each with Rennae Stubbs and Huber). For Huber the title was even more meaningful - it was her very first time winning this tournament.
"I've never even played on center court here before!" Huber beamed. "I had never really made it out of the early rounds before this. It's just amazing, this is an amazing tournament and the people here are so supportive of doubles."
"I love playing here," Raymond added. "The conditions really suit my game and the fans come out and support doubles a lot. It means so much to us. There's nothing like playing in front of a big crowd - they definitely helped us this week."
Huber and Raymond now have eight WTA titles since joining last April, four in 2011 (Toronto, US Open, Tokyo, WTA Championships) and four so far in 2012.
Huber now has 52 WTA doubles titles to her name, placing her at No.15 on the Open Era list; Raymond now has 78 WTA doubles titles, putting her at No.6 (and just two behind the No.5 player in the list, Natasha Zvereva, who has 80).