MIAMI, FL, USA - Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe were forced to make multiple comebacks in their tussle with top seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, but ultimately got the job done in a match tie-break, 3-6, 6-2, 10-7, earning their spot in the Miami Open final.
Barty and Vandeweghe rallied from a set down to level the late-night match on Stadium Court, and were up against it in the ensuing tie-break as the Russians took a quick 3-0 lead.
"In the first set, we weren't too far off," Barty said during their on-court interview. "There were a few short deuce games where we doing the right things but not quite executing. It was nice to get on a bit of a roll in the second set and bring it back in the buster."
The Aussie/American duo preyed on a string of errors to turn the tables on the 2016 Olympic champions, growing in confidence as they crossed the finish line after one hour and 15 minutes on court.
"It's great to be out here with Ash and still here in Miami, making the finals, and getting a chance for a trophy isn't so bad," Vandeweghe said.
In what was a career season last year, Barty not only rocketed up the rankings in singles, but also reignited a once-successful partnership with veteran countrywoman Casey Dellacqua, qualifying for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
"Casey isn't here with me at the moment, but we discussed players I might mix well with at the end of last year, and CoCo's a quality player. She's got a good Aussie influence with Pat behind her, so we're slowly turning her into an Aussie!"
Pairing up for the first time at the BNP Paribas Open, Barty and Vandeweghe made an immediate splash in Miami when they knocked out reigning Australian Open champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the first round, and will face another experienced team in No.6 seeds Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova in Sunday's championship match.
"I played Siniakova in Fed Cup doubles with Bethanie, so I know her pretty well," Vandeweghe said. "If Ash and I play the way we do and control what's going on on our side of the court, I think we have a chance to do really well."