Doubles run over for Routliffe and Fernandez at the US Open

Monday, 06 September 2021

The doubles run is over for New Zealand’s Erin Routliffe and her Canadian partner Leylah Fernandez at the US Open in New York.

They have been beaten 6-1 4-6 6-2 an hour and 56 minutes by the Romanian pair of Monica Niculescu and Elena Gabriela Ruse. Routliffe and Fernandez never really got going in the first set and paid the price for low first serve percentages as the hard-hitting Romanians broke at will in the first set to take it in 30 minutes.

It looked dire when the Romanians broke again at the start of the second set before Routliffe and Fernandez finally got a foot hold in the match.

Routliffe and Erin were able to get some momentum when they broke Ruse and then Fernandez held for 2-3. Niculescu then extended for 4-2 before Routliffe held serve for the first time in the match for 3-4. Ruse was broken a second time and Fernandez held for a 5-4 lead. On set point Routliffe produced a brilliant lob to clinch the set and force a decider as Niculescu dropped serve for the first time in the match.

Fernandez who was playing on her 19th birthday is through to the quarter finals in the singles after her stunning wins over defending champion Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber in the previous two rounds.

In the third set the toll of playing every day started to tell for Fernandez who was broken twice as the Romanians seized control and served out the match 6-2.

For Routliffe who won her first two matches at a Grand Slam at the US Open, it is a breakthrough performance and will see her ranking climb from 108 at the start of the tournament to around 78 which will be a career high for the 26-year-old Kiwi. It will ensure she can get into WTA tournaments each week. Erin has been working alongside Tennis NZ High Performance Director Christophe Lambert daily on site at the US Open and with National Physical Performance Coach Emily Carter in the weeks leading up to the tournament in NY. 

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