MIAMI: No.2 seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula on Sunday 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 the final.
The last all-American team to win Miami was Mary Joe Fernandez and Zina Garrison in 1991.
Gauff and Pegula have already won two championships this year after their first was won in a triumphant title defence at Doha in February. The most recent one is in Miami.
Gauff and Pegula, who were playing the unseeded all-lefty duo of Fernandez and Townsend for the first time, battled through a tense opening set in which both teams traded holds for the first 10 games of the match.
Townsend walked up to the service line to serve out the set after securing the first break of the match with a fierce forehand return down the line to lead 6-5.
Gauff and Pegula, who are both tenacious, were given two chances to break at 6-5, 30-40. Gauff closed the break back with an aggressive point to prevent a set point and force a tiebreak.
This time, Fernandez and Townsend were in charge of saving a set point, and the Canadian delivered a flawless return to knot the tiebreak at six all. Fernandez, however, missed a forehand drive volley on set point for the Americans, giving up the set.
With the help of a flawless lob from Pegula, Gauff and Pegula broke for a 2-1 lead early in the second set and did not give up. After one hour and twenty-five minutes, the American team ended the contest.
“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. Doing it in front of our family, it means a lot,” WTA.com quoted Gauff as saying.
“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,” she added.
“I think we were all serving very well and serving and hitting our spots. 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,” Pegula said.
“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,” she added. (ANI)