Tennis

‘Such a tight tussle’: Stosur triumphs in US Open women’s doubles final

As a teary Coco Gauff congratulated her opponents on their women’s doubles title at the US Open, she demonstrated the age gap that had been on the court.

Gauff revealed Australia’s Sam Stosur was the first professional tennis player to give her an autograph.

Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur with the US Open women’s doubles trophy.Credit:AP

“Little bit of a scary thought,” Stosur, 37, said.

Stosur and Zhang Shuai beat Gauff and Caty McNally 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at Flushing Meadows on Sunday (Monday AEST), winning their second major doubles title together and denying the teenagers their first.

“It was just such a tight tussle the whole match, a few points here and there. We stuck together as a team, played aggressive, went for it as we always do, and it pays off,” Stosur said.

“For us, this was our second grand slam final together. I’ve been in a few more. It’s kind of like, ‘All right, I’ve done this a few more times than you, so I’ve got to try to use everything I’ve got.’”

Zhang and Stosur have now won two grand slam finals together.Credit:AP

Gauff was just a year old when Stosur won her first US Open title, the women’s doubles championship with Lisa Raymond in 2005. The Australian won her biggest singles title in Flushing Meadows in 2011, beating Serena Williams in the final.

Gauff and McNally, 19, were trying to join Emma Raducanu as teenage women’s champions this week. The 18-year-old from Britain beat 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez on Saturday for the singles title.

The No. 11-seeded Americans fell just short of adding this US Open doubles title to the juniors one they won together in 2018.

“I know that we’ll be grand slam champions eventually,” Gauff said.

It was the 11th straight victory for Stosur and Zhang, who also won in Cincinnati before the US Open. They had to separate for a time while Zhang paired with Chinese players before the Olympics but see no reason to stop now.

“We will for sure play together more,” said Zhang, 32.

The first set swung suddenly when McNally was serving and a point away from a 4-all tie. Zhang perfectly placed a lob over Gauff’s head into the shaded back edge of the court during a run of five straight points to steal the game, and they held in the next one to take the set.

Gauff and McNally rallied to tie the match and it was even deep into the third set before Stosur and Zhang broke McNally again for a 5-3 lead. Stosur served out the match. She agreed her opponents will have another chance.

“They just play fearless. Credit to them,” Stosur said. “I think they’re a really great team. Again, no doubt they’re going to be back in situations like this, challenging for titles.

“[But] not just yet,” she added with a smile. “Not today.”

Reuters

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