Top-seeded Cori Gauff and Jessica Pegula have fallen short in a bid to win back-to-back WTA 1000 doubles titles after losing to Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Madrid Open final. Azarenka and Pegula, who were unseeded, upset No 1 seeds Gauff and Pegula 6-1 6-4 to win the Madrid title in their first doubles tournament as a duo.
In early April, Gauff and Pegula defeated Leylah Fernandez and Taylor Townsend in the Miami Open doubles final. In Madrid, Gauff and Pegula were playing their first doubles tournament since winning Miami. Gauff and Pegula, who also won Doha in February, fell just a win short of winning their third title of the year in Madrid.
How Azarenka, Haddad Maia beat Gauff, Pegula?
Gauff and Pegula served out to love the opening game of the match. After not losing a single point in their first service game, Gauff and Pegula went without winning a single game in the remainder of the first set.
Azarenka and Haddad Maia claimed breaks in the third, fifth and seventh games - all without facing a single break point in the entire first set. Azarenka and Haddad Maia then served out the first game of the second set to push their run to seven consecutive games won.
In the second game, Gauff and Pegula saved two break points to tie the second set to a game apiece and finally end Azarenka and Haddad Maia's run of seven consecutive games won. Gauff and Pegula saved one more break point in the fourth game, before earning their first break of the match in the fifth game to open a 3-2 lead.
In the sixth game, Gauff and Pegula saved two break points to take a 4-2 lead. Just when it seemed the momentum shifted on Gauff and Pegula's side, the American duo suffered a stunning collapse. Down 4-2 in the second set, Azarenka and Haddad Maia claimed back-to-back breaks in the eighth and 10th games to win four games in a row and complete a two-set win over Gauff and Pegula.
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