Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang unlikely winners in Indian Wells

There’s a sports adage that says “sometimes the best ability is avail-ability” and that was definitely the case for Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang at the BNP Paribas Open this year.

The Chinese pair, whose rankings were not high enough for them to be in the event straight away, arrived in Indian Wells hoping to find a spot in the field. But Barbora Krejcikova, the No. 2 singles player in the world who also was set to play doubles here, withdrew the day before the event started with an injury. That was the opening that Xu and Yang needed and did they ever take advantage.

Xu and Wang got in the field as the replacements, and they are leaving the event with the trophy after a dramatic 7-5, 7-6 (4) win in Saturday’s final over the team of American Asia Muhammad and Ena Shibahara of Japan.

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