Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe began their partnership just last month, and they have already made it to one of the biggest stages in tennis: the US Open women’s doubles final.
Playing just their fourth event as a team, No.16 seeds Dabrowski and Routliffe defeated No.8 seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Wang Xinyu 6-1, 7-6(4) in their semifinal clash on Louis Armstrong Stadium on Friday.
In the final, Dabrowski and Routliffe will meet 2020 US Open champions Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva. No.12 seeds Siegemund and Zvonareva defeated unseeded Jennifer Brady and Luisa Stefani 6-4, 6-1 in the second semifinal on Armstrong.
Command performance: Dabrowski of Canada and New Zealand’s Routliffe clinched their spot in the final by toppling this year’s Roland Garros champions, Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and China’s Wang, in 1 hour and 42 minutes.
After a quick first set, Dabrowski and Routliffe were severely tested in the second set. They were broken at love in both of their two attempts serving for the match, but captured the tiebreak to prevail. Dabrowski and Routliffe went 7-for-9 on break points, while Hsieh and Wang converted only five of their 20 break points.
It is a breakthrough for 28-year-old Routliffe, who moves into her first Grand Slam final. The 31-year-old Dabrowski has already been a women’s doubles Grand Slam finalist alongside Xu Yifan at 2019 Wimbledon. Dabrowski has also won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
First into the #USOpen doubles FINAL @GabyDabrowski & @erinroutliffe defeat Hsieh/Wang 6-1, 7-6(4) and will face the winners of Stefani/Brady vs. Siegemund/Zvonareva for the title! pic.twitter.com/35bwjhs6Iv— wta (@WTA) September 8, 2023
Quick rise: Dabrowski and Routliffe teamed up for the first time at the WTA 1000 event in Montreal less than two months ago. They went 4-3 in their first three events heading into New York.
But the duo clicked into gear in their first Grand Slam event as a team, winning three previous matches in three sets, including a quarterfinal victory over Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend. In that match, they came back from 7-2 down in a decisive 10-point match-tiebreak.
Hsieh's streak snapped: Hsieh, who returned to tennis this spring after missing the entire 2022 season, sees her undefeated record at this year’s Grand Slam events come to an end. Hsieh won her first 16 matches at majors this year, capturing titles at Roland Garros (with Wang) and Wimbledon (with Barbora Strycova).
Hsieh’s loss also guarantees that Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula will rise to co-World No.1 in Monday’s doubles rankings. Gauff has already spent four weeks at Doubles World No.1 in her career, but this will be Pegula’s debut at the top spot.
Former champs in form: Meanwhile, Siegemund and Zvonareva extended their successful partnership with another Grand Slam final appearance, adding to their 2020 title in New York City.
Siegemund and Zvonareva's championship run at the US Open three years ago was the first event they ever teamed up for. Since then, they have won three more titles together, including the WTA 500 event in Washington last month.
Zvonareva, in fact, is seeking her third US Open women's doubles title, as she also won the event back in 2006 partnering Nathalie Dechy. Both Zvonareva and Siegemund have won US Open mixed doubles titles as well.
Against Brady and Stefani, Siegemund and Zvonareva saw a 4-0 lead in the first set slide back to 4-3, but the victors went on a tear from there, winning eight of the next ten games. Siegemund and Zvonareva had 29 winners in the match, and fired only 13 unforced errors.