Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe dropped a set but rallied to win the women’s doubles final, beating Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6), at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “We’ve done everything kind of the way that we’ve wanted to,” Barty said.
“Now we get the reward.” Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe had never won a Grand Slam match together entering this year’s US Open. However, a seamless passage through the top half of the draw has firmly nailed their title credentials to the mast.
The Australian-American duo caused the draw’s first significant shock when they swept aside No.3 seeds and recent New Haven champions Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova in the last 16. They later held their nerve in a tense second-set tie-break to defeat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, the winners of each of the past two Grand Slams.
Former junior rivals, Babos and Mladenovic have known each other since the age of 10, and first teamed up in the professional ranks nearly a decade ago. They have contested more than 100 matches side-by-side, including two Grand Slam finals.
In their first spell as regular partners, they won three titles and made a runner-up finish at Wimbledon in 2014. This January they reunited for a second stint together, rekindling the magic immediately to beat Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina to win the Australian Open.
Babos is guaranteed to remain World No.1 in next week’s rankings. The Hungarian, who first reached the summit in July of this year, will spend her eighth week at No.1 following the US Open. Her partner Mladenovic will rise to No.5 with her runner-up finish.
Ashleigh Barty, meanwhile, is guaranteed to return to the Top 10, going as high as No.7, while Vandeweghe will rise back into the Top 20. Barty had already picked up one piece of silverware this fortnight, the US Open Sportsmanship Award.
"Very surprised, very humbling, I think," Barty said. "I always try to do my best on the court to compete and try the best that I can, but in the same breath also have good sportsmanship and respect my opponent, respect the tournament and respect everything that goes on behind the scenes to make it a possibility." Barty and Vandeweghe, who first teamed up earlier this year at Indian Wells, celebrated her second title as they had won in Miami (d.
Krejcikova/Siniakova). The Australian made four previous Grand Slam final appearances (all w/Dellacqua) at the Australian Open (l. Errani/Vinci), Wimbledon (l. Hsieh/Peng) and US Open (l. Sestini Hlavackova/Hradecka) in 2013 and Roland Garros in 2017 (l.
Mattek-Sands/Safarova). Prior to this fortnight, Vandeweghe’s best results at Grand Slam level were two semifinal runs at the US Open in 2015 (w/Groenefeld) and 2016 (w/Hingis). Barty became the seventh Australian to lift the US Open women’s doubles title in the Open Era, following in the footsteps of Margaret Court (1968, 1970., 1973, 1975), Judy Tegart-Dalton (1970-71), Wendy Turnbull (1979, 1982), Hana Mandlikova (1989), Rennae Stubbs (2001) and Samantha Stosur (2005).
Vandeweghe was the 17th American in the Open Era to lift the women’s doubles title; Mattek-Sands was the most recent of these champions in 2016. The duo saved three championship points in the deciding set of the match, which took more than two and a half hours to complete.
Barty and Vandeweghe’s 8-6 triumph in the third-set tiebreaker gave them their second victory in four meetings this season against Babos and Mladenovic. “I told Ash, ‘Listen, there’s no one I’d rather be out here with than you right now,’” Vandeweghe said.
“‘I believe in you. We’re going to get this done.’” The pair, Reuters reported, was hustled off-court after receiving their trophy and were not offered the customary moment to thank their coaches and families.
“I’m just bummed we didn’t have any sort of award ceremony. We couldn’t thank anyone. I think that was poor form,” Vandeweghe told reporters. “Maybe we’ll get another moment sometime, we’ll have another Grand Slam at Australia.
Maybe they’ll do us right in Australia since the U.S. couldn’t do me right.” Barty said they were escorted out because the men's final had to begin in the same Arthur Ashe stadium immediately afterward.
“To be honest, I don’t think they would have worried if they were 10 or 15 minutes delayed. I think it would have been nice for us to be able to thank our teams and all the people that make it a possibility, and to thank the crowd as well,” Barty said. “They were a little bit confused as to why we weren’t given the opportunity.”