Gabriela Dabrowski pumps her fist.

Photo : Mauricio Paiz

The third time might be the charm for Canada at the majors in 2023 after Gabriela Dabrowski reached the women’s doubles final at the US Open alongside Erin Routliffe with a straight-set semifinal win on Friday.

Coming off a dramatic win over countrywoman Leylah Annie Fernandez in the quarters, Dabrowski and Routliffe got off to a quick start before having to hold their nerve in a tense second set for a 6-1, 7-6(4) win over French Open champions Su-Wei Hsieh and Wang Xinyu.

Dabrowski is the first Canadian woman to reach the doubles final in New York since Jill Hetherington in 1988. Her lone previous women’s doubles Slam final was at Wimbledon in 2019, but the Ottawan has won two mixed doubles majors at the 2017 French Open and 2018 Australian Open.

Canadians reached title matches at both Roland-Garros and Wimbledon this year, but none managed to get their hands on the trophy. Dabrowski will look to snap that streak on Sunday.

Strong returning was critical for Dabrowski and Routliffe, as they won 64 per cent of their opponents’ service points and broke serve seven times, which helped balance their 13 double faults and just 30 per cent of second serve points won.

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Dabrowski and Routliffe got off to a quick start, winning eight for the first nine points and scoring an early break for a 2-0 lead. The pair broke serve every time their opponents stepped up to the line in the opening set, although they did drop serve once to miss the bagel.

Set two was more even, with the pairs exchanging breaks twice in the first seven games.

Getting over the finish line proved challenging for the Canadian and her Calendon, ON-born teammate (who represents New Zealand). They served for the match twice in the second set at 5-4 and 6-5, only to be broken to love both times.

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In the second set tiebreak, again Dabrowski and Routliffe had a tough time putting away the French Open champions, letting a minibreak lead slip away to find themselves knotted at 4-4. But the Canada-New Zealand pair won the last three points in a row to punch their ticket to the final.

Standing between Dabrowski and a maiden women’s doubles major title could be her former partner Luisa Stefani, with whom she reached her most recent Grand Slam semifinal back at the 2021 US Open, should Stefani and Jennifer Brady defeat 12th seeds Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva in the second semifinal on Friday.

The final will be played at 1:00 EDT on Sunday.