Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev of the ROC ended their dream week in Tokyo with a 6-3, 6-7(5), [13-11] win against natives Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina to capture the Olympic mixed doubles gold medal.
Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev saved one match point, at 9-10 in the match tiebreak, before closing out the victory Sunday in 1 hour and 55 minutes.
The fourth seeds, who were teaming for the first time this week, also saved one match point Friday in their semifinal victory over Australians Ashleigh Barty and John Peers. Rublev has won two ATP Tour doubles titles in his career, with his most recent coming in Doha (w/Karatsev) in March, while Pavlyuchenkova has won five doubles titles on the WTA Tour.
In an entertaining first set, the teams exchanged breaks at the start before Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev found their rhythm from the baseline on return and raced to a 5-2 lead. They closed the set out on serve and then fended off two set points at 4-5 as the set moved to a tiebreak. Karatsev and Vesnina then raised their game to level and forced a match tiebreak. Pavlyuchenkova and Rublev played aggressively, battling back from a 4-7 deficit and eventually clinched the victory to improve to 4-0 in match tiebreaks this week.
Karatsev and Vesnina were competing together for the second time in Tokyo. In June, they reached the championship match at Roland Garros. They overcame Serbians Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic on Friday to reach the gold medal match and did not a set en route to the final. They leave Tokyo with a silver medal.
Along with Karen Khachanov, who took home a silver medal in the men’s singles, the ROC won three Olympic tennis medals in Tokyo.