Doubles Take returns to its weekly schedule with a look back at the year’s last major, the US Open, plus what’s happening this week.
SLAMMING IT HOME
In the women’s doubles final, three of the four players to take the court had contested a championship match in that discipline before, with the second seeds, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, the reigning Australian Open champions.
It was five-time major finalist Ashleigh Barty and her partner CoCo Vandeweghe, a two-time mixed doubles finalist, who prevailed for their first Grand Slam in a battle for the ages.
After dropping the first set, the Miami Open champs took the next two for a 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6) epic win. They saved two match points down 6-3, 5-4 and would save one more in the third-set tiebreak. Mladenovic and Babos saved two match points of their own at 5-4 in the third set, before forcing the epic tiebreak and ultimately double faulting on Vandeweghe and Barty's third match point.
Last year, after a horrific knee injury, Bethanie Mattek-Sands spent the US Open in the broadcast booth and rehabbing.
What a difference 12 months can make.
Partnering with defending mixed doubles champ Jamie Murray, the duo took their first mixed title together, beating Alicja Rosolska and Nikola Mektic 11-9 in a match tiebreak.
The victory leaves the American a Wimbledon title away from completing the career Slam in mixed doubles. She’s also missing a women’s doubles title there, too, which would give her all four majors in that discipline as well.
In the first half of the season, the hottest team on the men’s tour was the Bryan brothers. After Bob went down with a hip injury, Mike soldiered on and has kept up the pace, teaming up with Jack Sock.
The Wimbledon champions won their second major in a row, thrashing Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in the final. Bob had something to say about that…
A LOOK AHEAD
There aren’t any tournaments for the men as the Davis Cup semifinals take place. Doubles stalwarts feature prominently on the final four teams, perhaps none more impressive than Mike Bryan, who was named to the U.S. team to face Croatia. Last year, the Bryans announced they were retiring from the competition, but evidently a run of good form—plus Sock being there—has Mike Bryan thinking differently. Croatia has three players to choose from: Mate Pavic, Ivan Dodig and Franko Skugor, all of whom have been solid this year.
In the other semi, France hosts Spain on indoor hard courts. Nicolas Mahut will likely team up with the retiring Julien Benneteau, while Spain could counter with Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers, both of whom have had success on faster surfaces.
Speaking of fast, the women are playing on carpet in Quebec City, one of the few tournaments at any level to still use that surface. The top seeds are the Americans Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria, followed by Darija Jurak and Xenia Knoll. Perhaps the best doubles player on site is Gabriela Dabrowski. However, the Canadian isn’t in the doubles draw as she qualified for singles.
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