By Jaclyn Stacey
(January 25, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci took out the Australian Open Women’s Doubles title on Friday, overcoming a spirited fightback from the local team of Casey Dellacqua and 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in one hour and 42 minutes.
Dellacqua and Barty were surprise finalists and were the first Australian pairing to reach the final since Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Helen Gourlay won the title in 1977.
In an exciting battle on Rod Laver Arena watched over by tennis legend Margaret Court the Italian top seeds raced to a commanding lead in the match, claiming the first set 6-2 in just 29 minutes.
The Australian pair dug deep in the second set to break the top seeds in the eighth game with Vinci serving and closed out the set 6-3 to give themselves a chance in the decider.
Errani and Vinci took control in the final set, claiming breaks in the sixth game and on championship point to become the first Italian pairing to win the Australian Open title. Italian Flavia Pennetta won with Argentine Gisela Dulko in 2011.
“In the third set we started to get nervous,” Vinci said post match. “However, today we’ve proven we’re a really strong doubles team.
“Our strength is that we always play together. We went out there today with lots of grit, and we really wanted to win.”
In the mixed doubles competition, the Australian team of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matt Ebden progressed through to the final after defeating the Kazakh and Uzbekh pairing of Yaroslava Shvedova and Denis Istomin in two tough sets 7-5, 7-6(5).
The Australians will play Czech duo Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak in the final on Sunday after the pair overcame Kveta Peschke and Marcin Matkowski in a super tiebreak 10-7.
The men’s doubles final will be contested on Saturday after the women’s singles final with top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan squaring off against the Dutch duo of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling.
Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.