Babos-Mladenovic combine to win Australian women’s doubles
MELBOURNE, Australia— Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France became the first players from their respective countries to lift the Australian Open women’s doubles crown.
Babos and Mladenovic embraced midcourt after beating Russian pair Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4 6-3 in Friday’s final at Rod Laver Arena.
It’s the first Grand Slam title for Babos, who was a runner-up to Serena and Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2016.
Mladenovic won the 2016 French Open doubles with compatriot Caroline Garcia and the pair were finalists at the US Open later that year.
The 24-year-old players were reunited at Melbourne Park in their first tournament together since the 2015 end-of-season WTA Finals where they fell in the round-robin stage.
Babos and Mladenovic rallied from a 2-4 deficit in the opening set after Babos dropped serve in the fifth game.
And they quickly fell behind in the second set when Mladenovic was broken in the opening game.
But the reignited doubles combination recovered the early deficit in the second set and break Makarova’s serve in the eighth game to set up the victory.
The Australian Open remains the missing link for the Russian pair — they won the 2013 French Open, 2014 U.S. .Open and 2017 Wimbledon and were striving to become only the sixth women’s team to complete all four doubles majors in the Open era.
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