Power combo: Huber, Petrova
Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova had not played doubles with each other before this week but it's hard to argue with the starry combination that won the Family Circle Cup doubles title Sunday.
Huber, a native South African now proud to play Fed Cup for the U.S. and cheer for Houston sports teams, is No. 1 in the world in doubles. She owns four Grand Slam doubles titles.
Petrova, the 2006 Family Circle Cup singles champion, won the doubles title last year with another American partner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
But the 6-3, 6-4 victory over Vania King and Michaella Krajicek on Sunday might be short-lived harmony for the top-seeded team. Petrova is likely to reunite with frequent doubles partner Samantha Stosur, who chose not to play doubles in Charleston and won the singles title Sunday.
Huber said her status is "up in the air," but she likely will get back with longtime partner Cara Black of Zimbabwe.
"Cara and I are a team so I guess if there's the odd week we don't have a partner, we'll call each other or message each other," Huber said of Petrova. "It's been really fun."
Tony Huber, Liezel's hus- band and coach, recruited Petrova.
"I saw it as a good opportunity for me to work on my doubles game and also defend my title from last year," said Petrova, a Russian ranked No. 9 in doubles and No. 18 in singles.
The King/Krajicek team has an upside, too. They were playing together for only the second tournament after winning at the Memphis tour stop in February.
"We just clicked," said King, a Monterey Park, Calif., native.
Krajicek, a Netherlands native who lives in Bradenton, Fla., is the sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek.
Expect more King/Krajicek.
"We said at the Australian Open we would play in Memphis and we did really well," Krajicek said. "This week has been even more special because it's obviously a bigger tournament."
Reach Gene Sapakoff at email@example.com or (843) 937-5593.