Chan, Hingis named ‘Doubles Team of the Year’ by WTA

Martina Hingis of Switzerland hits a return shot while playing with partner Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan against Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Timea Babos of Hungary in the women's doubles championship in the China Open tennis tournament at the Diamond Court in Beijing, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. The pair has been named the 2017 Doubles Team of the Year by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), after they won their ninth women's doubles title this year earlier this month. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Martina Hingis of Switzerland have been named the 2017 Doubles Team of the Year by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), after the pair won their ninth women’s doubles title this year earlier this month.

It was the first time for a Taiwanese tennis player to earn such an honor from the WTA.

The nine women’s doubles titles won by Chan and Hingis included a Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in September. It was the first Grand Slam for Chan, who had said she had dreamed of winning a Grand Slam title since she was a child.

Earlier this month, the pair took their ninth women’s doubles title of the year with a relatively comfortable victory in the finals at the China Open.

“The pair have enjoyed a trophy-laden season, capped off by claiming the U.S. Open crown – their first Grand Slam as a duo,” the WTA said in a statement.

In addition to the U.S. Open and the China Open, the team has also won the BNP Paribas Open, Mutua Madrid Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Mallorca Open, Aegon International Eastbourne, the Western & Southern Open, and the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

“Double and double and double and double the fun. Chan and Hingis have been dominant all season long, and it’s shown in how many times they’ve won back to back titles,” the WTA said.

So far this year, the pair has never lost a game once they made it to the finals.

After they won the title at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, Hingis took back the title of World No. 1 in doubles at the WTA, while Chan rose to the World No. 2 in doubles, the highest ranking she has achieved in her career.

Since their debut at the Qatar Total Open in February, they have won nine of the 15 events they have entered and reached at least the quarter-finals in the other six tournaments.

Teaming up has also been lucrative for Chan, who has raked in more than US$1 million in prize money this year on the WTA Tour.

Chan and Hingis will be teaming up again at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals, which will kick off Sunday in Singapore. They were at opposite sides of the net last year.

“It is a great honor to be the first team to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore,” Hingis said. “Yung-jan and I teamed up for the first time earlier this year and we have had great success.” Chan said this will be her fourth time competing at the WTA Finals in Singapore, and she was really looking forward to it.

“The last two years have been with my sister, and we have played against Martina many times, so it will be a fun new experience to play with her on my side of the net,” Chan said.

In addition to the title of the Doubles Team of the Year, the WTA has also named Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza as the Player of the Year, Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko as the Most Improved Player of the Year, American Catherine Bellis as the Newcomer of the Year, and American Sloane Stephens as the Comeback Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Angelique Kerber has earned the Jerry Diamond ACES Award for her contribution to promoting women’s tennis.

By Oscar Wu and Frances Huang