NEW YORK -- No.16 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe captured their first Grand Slam title at the US Open, defeating No.12 seeds Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva 7-6(9), 6-3 in Sunday's final.
The title is Dabrowski's 14th career doubles title and Routliffe's fourth. The team paired up for the first time this summer in Montreal and have won the biggest title of their respective careers in just their fourth tournament as a team.
"I have watched Gaby for years and obviously known her for a really long time, kind of idolized her," Routliffe said. "She's been flying the Canadian flag for the doubles for a long time now. I really liked her game. I just thought that we would be good together."
Dabrowski says a key win in Cincinnati fueled her belief that something big could be around the corner for the team.
"In Cincy, in particular our first round when we beat Shibahara-Aoyama, and they had just won Montreal, I thought that was a good indication we could hang with one of the best teams in the world," Dabrowski said.
"I believed before, but when you have a win like that, it kind of solidifies, oh, yeah, my instincts were right."
Dabrowski and Routliffe defeated two Top 10 seeds on their way to the title, besting Taylor Townsend and Leylah Fernandez in a hotly-contested quarterfinal before ending Hsieh Su-Wei's 16-match win streak at the Slams, defeating Hsieh and Wang Xinyu in the semifinals.
"It's been a tough year for us both," Dabrowski said. "I'm really proud of how we stood by each other through thick and thin the last few weeks."
No.16 seeds Siegemund and Zvonareva were bidding for their second US Open title, having lifted the trophy together in 2020.
Little separated the teams in the 74-minute first set. After an exchange of 12 consecutive holds to start the match, the teams headed to a tiebreak. Dabrowski and Routliffe opened a 4-0 lead before Siegemund and Zvonareva saved three set points to level at 7-all.
Siegemund and Zvonareva earned one set point in the tiebreak but could not convert. The set ended when Siegemund put a deep overhead long.
Dabrowski and Routliffe, who were a combined 16-21 in tournament finals, were able to build on their momentum in the second set. They earned a double-break lead at 3-0 and protected their lead to seal the win after 2 hours and 15 minutes.
"I can retire happy at some point now," Dabrowski said. "That's what it means to me. Not now, but at some point I can retire relieved."