US Open 2023

Photo by Mauricio Paiz

In the doubles final of the Guadalajara Open AKRON, Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON) and Erin Routliffe of New Zealand were on a mission to secure a second straight title but couldn’t recapture the magic of their dazzling US Open run. They fell 3-6, 6-2, 10-4 to the top seeds Storm Hunter of Australia and Elise Mertens of Belgium. 

Despite winning the last Grand Slam of the season barely two weeks ago, Dabrowski (No.9) and Routliffe (No.20) went into today’s final as underdogs against the formidable duo of Mertens (No.4) and Hunter (No.6), who’ve had a sensational season together thus far, winning the doubles in Rome last May and competing in the Wimbledon doubles final in July.

The Australian and the Belgian wasted no time reminding everyone why they’re a force to be reckoned with and broke Dabrowski and Routliffe from the get-go to take control 3-1. Even so, their resilient opponents weren’t fazed by their slow start. Little by little, the Canadian and the New Zealander orchestrated a spectacular comeback and won five consecutive games to take the set 6-3.

But the sudden shift seemed to reenergize Mertens and Hunter. In less than ten minutes, they locked in their own comeback to quickly take the lead 3-0 in the second set and close it out a few games later (6-2). They consolidated two of their eight break points to force a super tiebreak. 

Up 5-1 in the third, the eventual champions cruised to a 10-4 triumph.

Dabrowski and Routliffe, who’ve been playing together since the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montréal, saw their impressive winning streak end at nine. Still, in just five tournaments, they’ve compiled an excellent record that includes a Grand Slam doubles title, a WTA 1000 final and a WTA 250 semifinal (Cleveland). It’ll be interesting to follow their progress now that they’ve proven how dominant they can be together.  

Reminder: Gabriela Dabrowski holds 14 WTA doubles titles including three WTA 1000 crowns: Madrid 2022, Montréal 2021 and Miami 2017. She’s also won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles: Australian Open 2018 and Roland-Garros 2017. Erin Routliffe has three WTA doubles titles in her trophy case in addition to the US Open: Austin (2023), Washington (2022) and Palermo (2021).