Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty has landed her maiden grand slam title, teaming with American CoCo Vandeweghe to win a thrilling US Open women’s doubles final in New York.
Barty and Vandeweghe saved three match points to edge out second-seeded Australian Open champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) in the first-ever women’s doubles grand slam final decided in a third-set tiebreak.
Barty had lost all four grand slam doubles finals with retired compatriot Casey Dellacqua, falling short at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013 and at last year’s French Open.
But there was no denying the 22-year-old on Sunday, Barty and Vandeweghe prevailing after fighting off two match points in the second set and another in the deciding breaker.
“We’ve only played a handful of tournaments together this year but we’ve had pretty good success right from the get-go,” Barty said.
“This last fortnight has been really fun on and off the court. We’ve been relaxed.
“We’re very hungry to go as deep as we could. It was really nice to be able to play a pretty clean tournament.”
Barty’s triumph completes a memorable US Open for the Queenslander.
The sporting super talent also reached the fourth round of the singles, marking the first time the former Wimbledon junior champion and WBBL cricketer had made the second week of a slam.
“We’ve done a hell of a lot of work in the last 18 months and two years to get to this point. I needed to have that break,” Barty said of her sabbatical from tennis after the 2014 US Open.
“But, in the same breath, we’ve done everything kind of the way that we’ve wanted to.
“Now we get the reward.”
The world No.17’s earnings for the fortnight totalled $1.16 million – $662,000 for singles and $498,000 for doubles.
Barty has also won the US Open Sportsmanship Award, a gong recognising excellence in sportsmanship during the American lead-up events and the final grand slam of the season.
“It’s very humbling,” she said.
Barty is the seventh Australian to win the US Open women’s doubles title, joining four-times champion Margaret Court (1968, 1979, 1973, 1975), Judy Tegart-Dalton (1970-71), Wendy Turnbull (1979, 1982), Hana Mandlikova (1989), Rennae Stubbs (2001) and Samantha Stosur (2005).