Dellacqua & Lipsky's Perfect Mix In Paris
Published June 02, 2011 12:00
PARIS, France - After missing the better part of 2010 with a foot injury and building her momentum back on the ITF Circuit, Casey Dellacqua returned to WTA-level competition during the clay court season. It didn't take her long to remind everyone what she was capable of in singles - she beat Shahar Peer in Brussels - but at Roland Garros she showed flashes of her former brilliance in the team event, winning her very first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles.
Perth native Dellacqua paired with Scott Lipsky of the US to complete a dream week, upsetting top seeds and defending champions Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik in a very close encounter in the final, 76(6) 46 107.
"We have fun. It's not complicated. We just do the little things well," Dellacqua said of she and Lipsky. "We played some good tennis and had a great match yesterday too, we won 14-12 in the tie-break and played the big points well.
"I've made a final before, but to win and get one under the belt is pretty exciting."
Dellacqua, who turned 26 earlier this season, had never won a WTA-level title of any kind, her only two finals coming in women's doubles - the first coincidentally coming at Roland Garros in 2008 with Francesca Schiavone. She was also a runner-up at Sydney a year later with the now-retired Nathalie Dechy.
After such long struggles with injury, the major title was especially sweet for Dellacqua. "For me personally, the last two years have not been so good. I've had a fair bit of time out of the game. Three months ago I was at $25,000 challengers and just playing doubles thinking I wasn't even going to be playing at the French Open. So I've exceeded anything I thought I'd achieve at this point. It's all steams ahead of me. I hope playing big matches like this, playing big points, helps my singles, because that is a big focus. I think it'll help that."
The 29-year-old Lipsky, who has been coming into his own this year - three ATP World Tour doubles titles and currently at his career-high No.32 in the team discipline - also expressed this victory was particularly meaningful.
"It's the same with me. Not as much with injury, but just grinding through the Futures and the Challengers, the first couple years not making much money and trying to eke out a living," he said. "You watch these matches on TV and wish someday you can be there. To be on the stage playing in a Grand Slam final and to come out with a win, and to say now for the rest of my life I'm a Grand Slam champion, it's amazing. It hasn't sunk in. Hopefully it will."
"I know how hard he worked through the Challengers. I've done all that as well," Dellacqua said. "It's really awesome for us to come together and win a Grand Slam title. It's a dream come true for me, and I know it is for Scott, too. It's nice to share it with someone who has been through a lot of what I've been through."