No.10 seeds Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend needed just 64 minutes to book their place in a first Grand Slam final together, defeating No.2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula 6-0, 6-4 at Roland Garros.
Townsend advances to her second major final, having been runner-up alongside Caty McNally at last year's US Open to Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova. For Fernandez, the 2021 US Open runner-up in singles, the result marks her first Grand Slam final in doubles. They will face unseeded Hsieh Su-Wei and Wang Xinyu for the title, after they upset No.6 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez in the other semifinal, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
The Canadian-American duo first teamed up at Indian Wells in March, and their record together now stands at 14-4. The defeat of Gauff and Pegula reverses the result of the Miami final, which the all-American team won 7-6(6), 6-2. Townsend also exacted a measure of revenge for last year's Roland Garros semifinals, which -- partnering Madison Keys -- she lost 6-4, 7-6(4) to Gauff and Pegula.
"I'm just honestly so proud of how we were able to play and perform," Townsend said afterwards. "I told Leylah after the match, 'This is what we have been building towards over the past couple of months.' From where we started as a team and just figuring each other out to now, understanding each other so well and being able to play such great, consistent tennis/
"Especially I'm really proud of how we were able to kind of put our last result behind us. We lost to Jess and Coco in the finals in Miami, and we were able to learn from it, detach from the result, and then just understand and take what we learned in that match and apply it into this one. I'm so proud of like how we were able to stay focused and committed to what we were doing on our side of the net and not worry about what they were doing.
"I'm so proud, but, you know, work is not done. We've still got one more. You know, this match, I'm sure for Leylah, as well, this match has made me even more hungry to hold the winning trophy."
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Keys to the match: Fernandez and Townsend excelled in every part of the court throughout the contest. Townsend in particular drew gasps repeatedly as she held her ground in the forecourt, repelling her opponents' attacks with astonishing reflexes. Fernandez, for her part, proved expert at powering through Gauff and Pegula from the baseline, threading the needle with a number of superb passes.
Fernandez and Townsend were also sharp in exploiting the opposing team's weaknesses. Clever dipping shots elicited a string of volley errors from Pegula, while Fernandez went toe-to-toe with Gauff in a number of baseline exchanges that targeted the 19-year-old's forehand.
Consecutive Gauff forehand errors ended a first-set whitewash after just 24 minutes. Though Gauff and Pegula got on the scoreboard with a series of efficient holds in the second set, they were unable to break through on their opponents' serve. Townsend's delivery was impregnable; the 27-year-old conceded only three points behind it in the entire match. Fernandez was more vulnerable, but she was clutch in saving all six break points she faced.
Serving to stay in the match, Gauff committed a string of errors -- a forehand long, a netted volley and a double fault. Having been handed three match points, Townsend nailed an emphatic smash to convert the third.
Hsieh returns to final in Paris
In just her fourth tournament in the last 18 months, Hsieh Su-wei is back into the final in Paris nine years after she won the title alongside Peng Shuai. Though Hsieh and Wang dropped their first set of the fortnight in the semifinals, the unseeded pair bounced back in a strong third for their third win over a seeded team this fortnight.
Final bound 🔜— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2023
2014 #RolandGarros Women’s Doubles Champion Hsieh Su-Wei and partner Wang Xinyu will play Fernandez/Townsend for the title, overcoming Melichar-Martinez/Perez 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. pic.twitter.com/rR0w0S8wDb
To reach the final, Hsieh and Wang also knocked off No.9 seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Zhang Shuai in the second round, and No.5 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs in the third round.
Hsieh has spent 47 weeks as the doubles World No.1 in her career, and she's seeking her fifth Grand Slam doubles title with a fourth different partner. In addition to two titles with Peng, Hsieh also won Wimbledon in 2019 with Barbora Strycova, and in 2021 with Elise Mertens.
Wang has reached six WTA doubles finals previously, but none above 250 level. She'll be bidding for her third career doubles title, and first since she triumphed with Zheng Saisai at the Courmayeur Ladies Open in 2021.