The summer keeps heating up with the US Open nearly upon us. Doubles Take looks at what went down over the weekend and previews the final warm-up events.
In the women’s final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Demi Schuurs and Elise Mertens—who have won three titles already this year—faced Ekaterina Makarova and Lucie Hradecka, who were playing together for the first time in seven years.
Schuurs’ strong form throughout the year was on full display.
In the end, though, it was shots like this that helped two of the best doubles players of their generation prevail.
Hradecka, who’s been sidelined by an injury for most of the year, won her first title since 2016, while Makarova claimed her second of 2018 but first in nine years without regular partner Elena Vesnina.
A HOT SUMMER FOR MURRAY & SOARES
In their first year playing together in 2016, there was no better team on hard courts than Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who won both the Australian and US Opens.
This summer, it looks like they’re ready to reclaim their throne.
The pair won their second title of the summer—and third of the year, all on hard courts—in Cincinnati, rallying to defeat 2018 Australian Open finalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in a match tiebreak. For Murray and Soares, it’s their first ATP Masters 1000 title together.
A LOOK AHEAD
It’s not too late to get in some last-minute prep work before the US Open with both tours hosting events. The women are playing at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, where Andrea Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova are the top seeds. The second seeds are Demi Schuurs and Katarina Srebotnik, who won a tournament together during the clay-court season. Kiki Bertens, the women’s singles champ in Cincinnati, is seeded third with her longtime partner Johanna Larsson as they chase their first title of the year and 11th overall.
While the women are doing battle on the campus facilities at Yale, the men will also be giving it the old college try at Wake Forest University for the Winston-Salem Open. Last year, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau took the confidence gained by winning this event to New York, where they took their second Grand Slam title together. This year, the duo is seeded second behind Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo. Instead of playing with his usual partner Henri Kontinen, world No. 4 John Peers is making a go of it with his countryman and Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt.
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