Doubles Take looks back at the year’s first Slam and the last champs to be crowned, plus previews what’s in store in the week ahead.
PAVIC DOUBLES UP & MORE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Going into the mixed doubles final, one player was destined to leave Melbourne with extra first-place hardware: either Timea Babos, who won the women’s doubles title with Kristina Mladenovic, or Mate Pavic, who captured the men’s crown with Oliver Marach.
As has been the case every time he’s stepped on a court in 2018, it was Pavic who came away the winner as he and Gabriela Dabrowski beat Babos and Rohan Bopanna 11-9 in the deciding super-tiebreak.
It’s Dabrowski’s second career Grand Slam title, having won the French Open with Bopanna last year.
Pavic now has won every event he’s played so far this year (for four titles). It wasn’t an easy road for him and Marach as they twice had to take third-set tiebreaks to move on to the next round. In the final, they beat Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal in straight sets.
It was an impressive tournament for Babos, too. She and her old partner Mladenovic reunited and only dropped two sets on their way to the title, which included a third-set tiebreak win over Andrea Hlavackova—Babos’ partner last year—and Chan Yung-Jan. In the final, they beat the second-seeded team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who were looking to complete the career Grand Slam.
A LOOK AHEAD
It’s back to regular-tournament action on the WTA Tour with two events this week. In St. Petersburg, the top seeds are Sydney titlists Dabrowski and Yifan Xu, followed by the veterans Raquel Atawo and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who are already through to the next round. In a match of dangerous floaters, Sara Errani and Kirsten Flipkens beat Raluca Olaru and Olga Savchuk.
The other tournament being played this week is the Taiwan Open, where the top seeds are Babos and Hao-Ching Chan.
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