MONTREAL, Canada -- The 2018 Rogers Cup came to a close on Sunday with No.8 seeds Ashleigh Barty of Australia and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands coming from behind to post a 4-6, 6-3, [10-8] win over No.2-seeded Latisha Chan of Chinese Taipei and Ekaterina Makarova of Russia to claim the doubles trophy.
"It’s been a busy week, a busy but a good week," Barty told the media, referring to her semifinal showing in singles as well as her run to the doubles title. "It’s always nice to get to the end of the week and be tired from playing matches, I suppose. That’s why we’re here, and it’s a great start to the U.S. swing for me."
It was the second title of the year for the team of Barty and Schuurs, who also triumphed at another Premier 5 event, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, earlier this season. It took them 80 minutes and a match tiebreak to overcome the first-time pairing of Chan and Makarova for the title in Montreal.
"I think it really helps if you play together [often]," said Schuurs. "You know each other a little bit better, and especially at the end, when I started to get a little bit nervous, I was happy that Ashleigh was there and she kept me calm, so that was really important!"
Barty and Schuurs had to fend off numerous break points, including deciding points, and were steely in those instances to march to the title. They saved 16 of 18 break points throughout the closely-contested encounter. Despite the loss in the final, though, Latisha Chan will move back to the World No.1 ranking on Monday.
Barty also won in Miami with CoCo Vandeweghe, giving her three titles on the season. Schuurs has collected even more hardware this year -- the Dutchwoman has won six WTA doubles titles in 2018, with four different partners, as she becomes one of the most in-demand doubles players in the world.
The first set went totally with serve up to 4-4 before Barty threw in a shocker of a service game, falling behind 0-40, and then double faulting to hand over the break to Chan and Makarova.
With Makarova serving for the set, the No.2 seeds would not let this opportunity slip away, as Chan slammed a putaway to give her and her partner double set point. A wide Schuurs return on the second opportunity moved Chan and Makarova to a one-set lead without them ever facing a break point.
But the tables turned in the second set. Barty and Schuurs finally got a look in on their opponents’ service games, and broke Makarova for 4-2 after Chan sent a volley miscue long.
Makarova punched a backhand volley winner on break point in the next game to get back on serve, but Barty and Schuurs were not to be denied, garnering two break points in the following game, and then watching as Chan double faulted on the second to give them a 5-3 lead. Barty served out the set in the following game, saving a break point with a lob in the process.
The eighth seeds maintained the momentum as the teams moved into the match tiebreak, with Barty and Schuurs racing out to a 4-0 lead following another Chan double fault. Chan and Makarova squandered over half of their service points in the match tiebreak up to the point where Barty crushed a forehand winner for an 8-5 lead.
"I think it was important that we started the tiebreak well," Barty admitted. "Get a little bit of the momentum in the second set, it was certainly nice to give ourselves a couple points’ lead early in the buster."
Barty misfired an overhead on their first match point at 9-6, and a Chan putaway on the next point pulled her and Makarova within a point of leveling the match at 9-8. But on the third championship point, a strong Barty serve caused Makarova to block a return wide, giving the Australian/Dutch duo the trophy.