Photo : Martin Sidorjak
The fifth time was the charm for Canada at the Grand Slams in 2023.
Gabriela Dabrowski made history on Sunday at the US Open, becoming the first Canadian to win a major title in the women’s doubles event, defeating Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva alongside Canadian-raised partner Erin Routliffe, in straight sets in the final.
It is the third major of Dabrowski’s career, having won a pair of mixed doubles titles in the late 2010s. She had reached one prior women’s doubles final at Wimbledon in 2019. Her last mixed doubles major victory was in 2018.
Her victory also capped off what has been a tricky year for Canadians at the majors on a high note, as four major finals earlier in the year had seen Canadians defeated.
On Sunday in New York, Dabrowski and Routliffe gritted through a tough first set before seizing control in the second, scoring a 7-6(9), 6-3 victory to claim the title. It is a first title together for the pair, who only teamed up earlier this summer at the National Bank Open in Montreal.
Siegemund and Zvonareva brought the firepower throughout the opening set, blasting the ball at every opportunity including at their opponents multiple times. They had chances to break the Routliffe serve at 2-2 and 4-4, but were unable to convert.
The tiebreak was a role reversal, with Dabrowski and Routliffe in control throughout but struggling to seal the deal. They led 4-0 and had set points at 6-4 and 7-6 but each time their opponents fought back. Siegemund and Zvonareva then had two set points of their own but committed errors each time.
Finally, Routliffe crushed a return to take a 10-9 lead and this time Siegemund missed a smash to hand the opening set to the Canadian-New Zealander duo.
Dabrowski came out in the second set like a woman on a mission. She put on a clinic at the net, hitting incredible volley after incredible volley to score the first break in the match and then used her brilliant net skills to save a couple of break points on their way to consolidating for a 2-0 lead.
Siegemund double-faulted to give away a love break in the following game and then needed a medical timeout, but she and Zvonareva were able to make a set of it by coming out of the delay and reclaiming one of the breaks.
But Dabrowski and Routliffe were unfazed and kept their level up. At 5-3, they put on the pressure one more time and broke again, converting their third championship point to claim the title.
With the win, Dabrowski becomes the first Canadian to win majors in multiple disciplines since Daniel Nestor. She has also won titles at three of the four majors, with only Wimbledon missing from her trophy case. The Ottawan is projected to jump back into the Top 10 in the WTA doubles rankings.