Photo: camerawork usa
Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil were forced to retire from their US Open semi-final match after Stefani fell awkwardly and suffered a right leg injury. As a result, American’s Caty McNally and Coco Gauff advanced to their first Grand Slam final.
Dabrowski and Stefani first paired up in October 2020 and made the finals of their inaugural tournament as a team at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. The Canadian-Brazilian duo hadn’t missed a final since, playing at the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, and winning in Montreal at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
They hoped to keep that streak alive with a win today.
In the first set, Dabrowski and Stefani had the first look at break, but Gauff playing aggressively at the net managed to keep the match tied at two games apiece. The teams exchanged breaks in the fifth and sixth games, and the match looked quite even between Dabrowski and Stefani and the all-American duo.
However, in the 10th game, the Canadian-Brazilian pairing found themselves in a love-40 hole. Dabrowski served brilliantly from that point on to get the game to deuce. They then managed to hold to their serve with good hands and smartly placed lobs.
The set needed a tiebreak – but unfortunately, it lasted for only three points. Up 2-0, Stefani jumped for a volley and on the way down, landed awkwardly on her foot. She was on the ground for some time until the medical staff was able to bring her off the court in a wheelchair.
It was a brutal way to end such a high-stake match. Dabrowski showed some true sportsmanship coming back out of the tunnel and shaking hands with her opposition.