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Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani

 

Italian pairing Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have become the first duo to defend the Australian Open women’s doubles crown since the Williams sisters four years ago after a come-from-behind three-set triumph over Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina on Friday.

The top seeds rallied from 2-5 down in the decider, taking five games on the run to clinch their fifth Grand Slam title together 6-4 3-6 7-5, turning the tables on the third seeds after falling to them in last year’s French Open decider.

Serving for the first set, Errani faltered, shanking a backhand wide before Makarova teed off on a big leftie forehand down the line to pass Vinci for 3-5.

Despite dropping the first set 6-4, the Russians broke early in the second set, holding for 3-0. The Italians would bring games back on serve by breaking Vesnina for 2-3, but with the championship in sight, the third seeds capitalised on their opponent’s mounting error count to force a third set.

From there the Russians raced to a 5-2 lead, twice serving for the match, but were unable to land the winning blow. 

“I don't know. Was very strange, very difficult. We went from two-love up in the third, 5-2, playing not very good,” Errani said. “From there we start, I don't know, just keep it going.”

The top-ranked pair was on a roll by 5-5. Errani and Vinci stormed back, holding to love with Errani leaving her opponents stranded at the net with a forehand lob before breaking Marakova’s serve; Vinci sealing the match with a forehand winner down the line after two hours and six minutes.

“For sure I want to thank Roberta because she support me. We have a lot of tense moments but with her everything is easier,” Errani said. “To have her here on the court as a very good friend makes it easy. Our coach … we know we’re making you angry so many times. We try our best and sometimes it’s not easy. I think we made a good job.”

The pair’s successful title defence ensure they retain their No.1 ranking.

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Post-Tournament
Sunday, 21 September 2014
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