Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski’s run at Wimbledon ended in heartbreak on Sunday.

The Ottawa native was looking to become the first Canadian to ever win a Grand Slam title in women’s doubles, but she just came up just short. Playing alongside Yifan Xu, the No. 4-seeded duo lost in the final to the No. 3-seeded team of Barbora Strycova and Su-Wei Hsieh in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. Hsieh and Strycova are the first team to lift the doubles titles at Wimbledon without dropping a set since Serena and Venus Williams did it in 2009.

Dabrowski came into this match with plenty of Grand Slam experience, having already played in four career major finals in mixed doubles. However, this was her first time playing for a Grand Slam title in women’s doubles. She was actually the first Canadian to play in a Grand Slam women’s doubles final since Jill Hetherington did it over 30 years ago (lost in 1989 Australian Open final).

But, in the first set, the No.4-seeded duo seemed a bit out of sorts. After failing to convert a break point at 1-0, Dabrowski and Xu were broken for just the third time in these Championships when the Canadian hit a two-handed backhand into the net. Then, in Dabrowski and Xu’s next service game, Strycova and Hsieh scored another break thanks to a great forehand volley winner by Strycova. The No.3-seeded team would hold serve from there to take the opening set.

Dabrowski and Xu did their best to rally in the second set. After going down a break in the opening game, they leveled the set at 1-1 with a break point of their own. But, in the very next game, the pair were broken again on an overhead smash from Strycova.

The No.4-seeded team kept fighting despite the mounting adversity. First, they climbed out of a 15-40 hole in their next service game to stay within one. Then, trailing 3-2, they earned a couple break point chances but just couldn’t convert one. In the final game of the match, Dabrowski and Xu fought off match point before eventually Strycova and Hsieh were able to close it out.

Despite the loss, Dabrowski and Xu seem to excel on the London grass. Prior to the final, the No.4-seeded duo had been dominant at these Championships – having been broken just twice. After losing on Sunday, they also now hold a 9-3 career record at Wimbledon – having also reached the semi-finals last year.

For Dabrowski, Sunday’s championship match marked the fifth time in her career she’s played in a Grand Slam final. Back in June 2017, Gaby won the mixed doubles crown at the French Open with Indian partner Rohan Bopanna – making Dabrowski the first Canadian woman to ever win a Grand Slam title. Less than a year later, now playing with Croatian Mate Pavic, Dabrowski earned her second career major title by winning the 2018 Australian Open in mixed doubles.

Dabrowski and Xu have a lot of positive they can draw on from this grass-court season. Despite holding a 1-3 record on grass prior to Wimbledon, the No.4-seeded pair was able to turn it around en route to the final. They won five of six matches at the All England Club to improve their record on grass to 6-4 this season. Their appearance in this year’s Wimbledon final also marks their best-ever result at a Grand Slam in women’s doubles.

(Photo: Mauricio Paiz)