MIAMI -- No.2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula became the first all-American duo to win the Miami Open doubles title in 22 years after defeating Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend, 7-6(6), 6-2 in Sunday's final.
The last all-American team to win Miami was Mary Joe Fernandez and Zina Garrison in 1991.
Miami is the second title of the season for Gauff and Pegula, having won their first in a successful title defense at Doha in February. It is the third WTA 1000 title for the American duo, along with 2022 Doha and 2022 Toronto.
Playing their first Miami main draw as a team, Gauff and Pegula came through the with wins over Brenda and Linda Fruhvirtova and Asia Muhammad and Anna Dalinina to make the quarterfinals. After rain delays led to an impacted schedule, Gauff and Pegula notched two wins in one day, defeating No.6 seeds Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter 6-7(4), 7-5, [10-2], and No.8 seeds Nicole Melichar Martinez and Ellen Perez 7-6(5), 7-6(1) to advance to the final.
"This tournament is one of those tournaments that you grow up watching, and I think it feels even more special than some of the other 1000s we won," Gauff said. "Doing it in front of our family, it means a lot.
"I'm glad that we were able to have that result, especially, you know, I think our quarters, final match, we weren't looking like we were going to be in this position but we hung in there. Today honestly I don't think we could have played a better match."
save yourself, save break point 😅@CocoGauff x @JLPegula #MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/4XDPz8nONW— wta (@WTA) April 2, 2023
Facing the unseeded all-lefty team of Fernandez and Townsend for the first time, Gauff and Pegula fought through a tight opening set that saw both teams trade holds for the first 10 games of the match.
"I think we were all serving very well and serving and hitting our spots," Pegula said. "It just makes it tough playing two lefties. We have played a couple of lefties the last few matches, but still, it doesn't make it any easier seeing the ball come at you differently, especially both of them. It makes it very hard.
"We knew that was going to be tricky going in, and I think we were able to adjust a little bit just in time to kind of turn that match around, but I think once we started putting more returns in the court, we started pressuring them a lot more."
Playing in just their second tournament together, Fernandez and Townsend made the final off two back-to-back comeback wins over No.3 seeds Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok and the unseeded team of Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. After sealing the first break of the match with a searing forehand return down the line to lead 6-5, Townsend stepped to the service line to serve out the set.
Ever resilient, Gauff and Pegula earned two chances to break at 6-5, 30-40. An aggressive point from Gauff sealed the break back to save set point and take the set to a tiebreak.
gets low and finds the open space 🎯@leylahfernandez x @TaylorTownsend#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/IoTlnQ6vyl— wta (@WTA) April 2, 2023
This time it was Fernandez and Townsend's turn to save a set point, with the Canadian landing a perfect return to level the tiebreak at 6-all. But on set point for the Americans, Fernandez put a forehand drive volley long to relinquish the set.
Gauff and Pegula took early control of the second set, breaking for a 2-1 lead with the aid of a perfect lob from Pegula, and refused to relinquish their lead. The American duo closed out the match after 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Feeling the love in the 305 ☀️@CocoGauff and @JLPegula move past Townsend/Fernandez for the doubles title!#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/NuYLLLLPU1— wta (@WTA) April 2, 2023
"FAU, and Miami lost last night," Gauff said. "I woke up this morning, I was like, 'It cannot be another L for South Florida today. Please, we have to win.'
"We redeemed them. This was for you, Miami, and FAU."